Adelaide Hills Bushfire Destroys 86 Homes As Crisis Continues To Grow

Losses from the Adelaide Hills bushfire continue to climb with 86 homes now confirmed destroyed, along with almost 500 other buildings.

The Country Fire Service says more than 900 properties have been assessed, with another seven suffering major damage and 20 minor damage.

The number of vehicles lost has jumped to 278.

Agricultural losses are also mounting with about 1100 hectares of vineyards thought destroyed or damaged, equal to about one-third of the area's grape production.

The mounting damage bill comes as CFS crews brace for a day of increased fire danger with rising temperatures and winds across the fireground.

Adelaide is expected to have a top of 33C on Monday before the mercury again climbs to about 40C by Saturday.

 Authorities also expect the reported damage to rise.

"It's scenes of absolute devastation, families in shock as they return to their homes and all they find is rubble," Premier Steven Marshall said.

CFS firefighters put out fires on Jacaranda Drive at Woodside in the Adelaide Hills. Image: AAP

"So extraordinarily difficult times."

The Cudlee Creek fire in Adelaide Hills also claimed the life on Ron Selth, 69, who was found dead at his property on Saturday,

Adelaide Hills Country Fire Service incident controller Richard de Groot said 300 firefighters were on ground where 25,000 hectares had been burnt inside a 127-kilometre perimeter.



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NSW fire authorities have begun counting the cost of a horror day on the fire front, as more favourable firefighting conditions settle in.

He said the area of most concern centred on difficult terrain around the Kangaroo Creek Reservoir at Castambul.

"So in that area there we've decided to implement a backburn of about 450 hectares," he said.

The Cudlee Creek fire at Woodside in the Adelaide Hills. Image: AAP

Country Fire Service deputy chief officer Andrew Stark said there were still concerns for a fire burning on the western end of Kangaroo Island.

Premier Marshall expected the damage bill from the SA fires to be very significant. But he said the focus was on bringing the remaining areas of concern under control.

He said the government was also working on the appointment of a disaster recovery coordinator.



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Two days after the deaths of two of their members, crews from the Horsley Park Rural Fire Brigade have returned to firefronts to protect communities in their honour.

Stark said despite the widespread damage, there was a feeling of gratitude from the community for the work done by emergency services.

"Amongst the sadness for the loss there is great relief and thankfulness from the community for the work that all the fire agencies have done to protect lives and properties," he said.

But he said the CFS still had concerns about the number of people who stayed to try to defend their properties.

"We know that some people chose to stay and defend and while they may have been successful, the people that I have spoken to have said they will never stay again under those conditions," he said.

"When we have catastrophic conditions in the Adelaide Hills the risk to lives and property is at its greatest.