Houses thought lost in SA blaze

Kathryn Bermingham and Tim Dornin
SA's fires are burning at Appila in the Mid North, and Price and Yorketown on the Yorke Peninsula

Houses and sheds are thought lost in a bushfire threatening lives on South Australia's Yorke Peninsula.

The fire started close to homes on Wednesday as the state sweltered through catastrophic conditions with soaring temperatures and high winds.

The loss of property was yet to be confirmed but there were reports at least two houses had been destroyed in an area home to about 1000 people.

There were no immediate reports of any injuries with the fire burning mostly in stubble as conditions in the area continually changed.

In the latest emergency warning, the Country Fire Service urged everyone in Yorketown to take shelter as it was no longer safe to leave.

This fire was burning in a northwesterly direction towards Waterloo Bay and Wattle Point.

An emergency warning was also declared for another fire on Yorke Peninsula with the blaze at Price flaring after initially being downgraded.

It was subsequently downgraded again but authorities warned it was still to be contained.

They were among more than 40 fires across SA, including two others north of Adelaide and one in the Barossa Valley which also sparked emergency warnings at one stage.

CFS deputy chief officer Rob Sandford said the efforts of firefighters across the state on Wednesday had been outstanding.

"The work crews have done to halt these fire has been nothing short of amazing," he said.

The fires across SA came as the state sweltered through record-breaking temperatures with many regional centres posting their hottest November day.

Adelaide fell short with a top of 42.2C at the Bureau of Meteorology's Kent Town observatory - just shy of the record 42.7C recorded there in 1962.

Those conditions also prompted SA Power Networks to cut electricity to more than 10,000 properties on the lower Eyre Peninsula amid safety concerns.

"With fire conditions expected to continue well into this evening, be prepared for a potentially extended outage before it is safe to restore power supply," the company said.

A cool change was expected to sweep across the state by early Thursday but the CFS warned the dangerous conditions would linger.

The bureau issued a severe weather warning for potentially damaging winds across a wide area including most of the York and Eyre Peninsulas and the Adelaide Hills.

It said wind gusts of up to 90km/h were possible as the front moved through.