Bushfire prompts calls for more power to clear vegetation

Residents affected by bushfires on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula over the weekend say they need greater powers to clear vegetation to prevent another disaster.

Bushfire prompts calls for more power to clear vegetation

Bushfire prompts calls for more power to clear vegetation

While crews have contained the bushfire burning near Tulka, some residents spent the day mopping up, while others counted the cost after they lost everything in the fire.

Grant Stagg and his wife were in Port Lincoln bracing for the worst on Sunday when they saw their home going up in flames on 7News.

Mr Stagg said residents should be given more power to clear native vegetation around their homes to avoid situations like this.

“I’ve been chatted by the vegetation mob and I have had arguments with them” he said.

Emergency Service Minister Jennifer Rankine was in the affected area today and said: “When people live in high fire risk areas, they have a responsibility, to prepare and plan.”

The fire also took a heavy toll on wildlife, but one lucky koala was fortunate enough to be rescued and has been flown to Adelaide for treatment after being found curled up under a burnt tree.

Meanwhile, the Country Fire Service says pinpointing the cause of the bushfire will likely take until late next week.

The blaze blackened more than 1800 hectares of scrub and destroyed 14 cabins, several sheds and four cars.

Two homes were damaged and about 300 sheep lost.

The CFS said the blaze was now considered under control and about 85 firefighters were still on the scene mopping up.

State coordinator Mal Watts said investigators were working to determine exactly where the fire started and the cause, but results were not expected until late next week.

Mr Watts said the blaze, one of 65 sparked across the state since Saturday, was a timely reminder for people to update or develop their bushfire survival plans.

"The majority of people who die or become seriously injured during bushfires in South Australia are caught fleeing their homes or property at the last minute," he said.

"Bushfires can be frightening and disorient people, and when they occur it is not a time to be making decisions."

Premier Jay Weatherill told state parliament that the volunteer firefighters and their support staff were to be thanked for their efforts at the Tulka and other fires.

"I have no doubt the damage and pain the community is now dealing with would have been much worse but for the efforts of those firefighters," the premier said.

Some of the bushfire's destruction at a farm on the Eyre Peninsula. Photo: Lloyd Thornton, 7News