SA, VIC, TAS:
Heat, gales and bushfires as major front approaches
The first significant cold change of Autumn approached southeastern states
today, heralded by strong gusty northwesterly winds, high temperatures and
bushfires in SA and VIC.
Maximum temperatures of 30 to 35° covered much of the central two-thirds
of the continent, giving readings 8 to 12 above average across western
VIC and southern SA. In VIC, Mildura, Nhill, Ouyen, Horsham, Hopetoun and Walpeup
all recorded tops between 33 and 34° while in SA the warmest places were
on the northern Eyre Peninsula, with Ceduna, Kyancutta and Cleve setting maxima
between 35 and 36. Adelaide (Kent Town) reached 31.9, 9.5 above normal.
ahead of the change were gusty -- Maatsuyker Island off the TAS South Coast
Colac and Mt Gellibrand recorded 74km/h and in SA Cape Willoughby on Kangaroo
Island recorded 69km/h.
Major bushfires flared on Kangaroo Island and the lower Eyre Peninsula in
SA. The first burnt through over 2,600 hectares of scrub near Murray Lagoon,
about 30km SW of Kingscote. A $200,000 shearing shed was razed and homes were
threatened as a hundred firefighters were brought from
the mainland to assist island crews. A second fire burnt on a 1km front through
400ha of scrub near Wangary, 40km NW of Port Lincoln, before a pre-frontal
the early afternoon turned the fire into country burnt out in the January blaze.
Over a dozen smaller fires flared in SA, including one in the Onkaparinga
Gorge, 25km S of Adelaide CBD, that occupied aerial bombers and 50 firefighers.
In VIC, a rare late April total fire ban was declared for the whole state
apart from Gippsland. A fire that burnt through 200ha near Stoneyford, 20km
W of Colac, destroyed several
CFA trucks and crews fought the blaze.