SA fires: 60% of blaze contained but 85,000 hectares burnt

UPDATE: 85,000 hectares of land north of Adelaide has burned in widespread bushfires that have killed two people and injured at least 13 more.

The Country Fire service says cooler temperatures, higher humidity and more gentle wind have helped ease conditions today and 60% of the fire has been contained.    

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill told the media this afternoon that around 200 firefighters are still involved in the effort to contain the blaze.   

So far 16 homes and 22 other significant buildings have been lost in the inferno, along with countless vehicles, farm machinery and animals.   

Mr Weatherill says it does not appear at this stage that the fires were deliberately lit. 

THURSDAY MORNING: A 56-year-old woman and a 69-year-old man have been confirmed dead and at least 13 people hospitalised from a major bushfire that has destroyed homes in South Australia's Mid North.

SA Premier Jay Weatherill confirmed a woman from Hamley Bridge and a man from Pinery died in the fire, the ABC reported.

He said five people are in a critical condition in hospital and one of those has burns to 80 per cent of their body.

Fire crews worked through the night battling the blaze, north of Adelaide, which has burnt through about 90,000 hectares of land.

Fire activity remains around many townships including Owen, Hamley Bridge, Tarlee, Freeling, Wasleys, Kapunda, Greenock and surrounding areas.

Australia facing high fire risk this summer

Two lives claimed by South Australian fires

TWO people are confirmed dead and there are reports of a third as a huge bushfire rages north of Adelaide.

South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill has told the media a body has been found in a paddock at Pinery, an another in a car at Hamley Bridge.

The unconfirmed fatality comes after a car was reported to have hit a tree near Freeling.

Mr Weatherill said today's events are a chilling reminder of the importance of being prepared for serious bushfires. 

"The next 6 to 12 hours will be critical."

At least three people helping to put out the fires have been taken to the Royal Adelaide Hospital suffering severe burns.

"This has been a devastating few hours for large parts of the state and unfortunately there is some time to go until we have fire fronts under control," Mr Weatherill said.

The number of homes, sheds, crops and livestock lost in the fire so far is unknown.

It is not yet known how the blaze started.

6:00PM Reports two people seriously burned in raging SA bushfire

THERE are reports that up to nine people have been injured in an bushfire burning out of control in South Australia.

AAP reports at least two Country Fire Service firefighters have been flown to hospital with serious burns as the blaze continues to threaten a wide region 60 km north of Adelaide.

At least two houses have been damaged as well as a piggery, with the ABC reporting around 9000 pigs could have been burned alive.

An emergency warning for the fire, which is burning north of Gawler near the Sturt Highway, includes Riverton, Marrabel, Eudunda and Dutton, as well as Pinery, Owen, Hamley Bridge, Freeling, Greenock, Kapunda and Nuriootpa.

Meanwhile, a blaze at Lameroo, in the Murray Mallee near the SA border with Victoria, has been contained.

Fire Crews are preparing for a long night as the fire is expected to move across the Barossa Valley.

The Country Fire Service says the blaze is being fanned by strong winds and is moving fast.

An evacuation centre is operating at Balaklava Racecourse.


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