Severe winds, high temperatures and dry lightning spark significant fire weather
The SA Country Fire Service (CFS) is urging the community to be prepared for what is forecast to be one of the most significant fire weather days in several years.
Tomorrow, temperatures are forecast to soar into the mid 40's across many parts of the state and will be accompanied by strong wind gusts of up to 90 kilometres an hour and a swathe of dry lightning.
Weather conditions are leading to Catastrophic Fire Danger Ratings for the Mid North, Flinders, Yorke Peninsula, Riverland and Eastern Eyre Peninsula districts, and Extreme ratings for the Mount Lofty Ranges, North East Pastoral, West Coast, Upper South East and Murraylands.
CFS Chief Officer Brett Loughlin AFSM said the combination of strong winds, high temperatures and dry lightning poses the worst-case scenario for bushfire activity and is urging the South Australian community to enact their bushfire plans.
"Our volunteer firefighters are on high alert and ready to respond, however, fires can threaten suddenly, without warning and can travel very fast, so it's important the community are alert to what's happening around them," Mr Loughlin said.
"Although many parts of South Australia have experienced wet weather recently, the hot temperatures, strong winds and fuel loads across the state paired with the significant risk of dry lightning will mean communities may face threats from fast-moving, intense grass fires."
Chief Officer Loughlin said now is not the time for anyone to be complacent.
"We have seen the impact of bushfires, and the conditions that spark them, too many times and we don't want the public to think they are immune to the threat of fire," Mr Loughlin said.
"A Catastrophic Fire Danger Rating is the most dangerous conditions for a fire and if one starts and takes hold, lives could be lost, so the safest place to be is away from high-risk bushfire areas."
"It's critical that people know what restrictions are in place during the Fire Danger Season and on Total Fire Ban days."
Bureau of Meteorology Emergency Services Meteorologist, Hannah Marsh, said you won't have to go far from Adelaide to feel the extreme heat, with temperatures of around 46 degrees forecast for Port Pirie and Renmark on Friday.
"Dangerous fire weather is expected to start early on Friday morning with dry lightning and very strong winds forecast ahead of and with a strong change during the afternoon" Ms Marsh said.
In response to the Catastrophic Fire Danger Ratings the National Large Air Tanker has been relocated from its home base to South Australia, ahead of tomorrow's expected forecast.
For more information about the fire danger ratings and total fire bans, visit the CFS website at www.cfs.sa.gov.au.