The South Australian southeast town of Lucindale is under direct threat from an out-of-control bushfire with reports of buildings on fire.
Earlier on Monday, the South Australian Country Fire Service (CFS) issued an emergency warning for Lucindale and Avenue Range, on the lower south coast of the state.
The grass fire at Blackford is burning towards the town of Lucindale and locals are being urged to leave if it is safe to do so.
Now it has been reported the Blackford fire has resulted in majority of the people in the town of Lucindale evacuating and now the nearby town of Naracoorte is also included in a watch and act message.
“This fire may pose a threat to lives directly in its path,” the CFS warning message from earlier on Monday read.
However, now locals in the emergency zone have been advised it is too late to leave.
Roads close as reports emerge of a building on fire
The Country Fire Service has issued at least three reports of buildings on fire in the Lucindale area, home to about 500 people, but the nature of the structures is not yet clear, AAP reported.
The local council shared a post on Facebook to advise people the town hall will be open for those wishing to seek refuge there.
#Bushfire Emergency Warning for #BLACKFORD,_MAIL_BRIDGE_ROAD #fire. You are now in danger. Take shelter in a solid building. Do not leave or enter this area in a vehicle or on foot. #EWM ID=0005258 #SAFires https://t.co/M8wo8yrRd6 pic.twitter.com/T2pOzh6X3c
— Country Fire Service (@CFSAlerts) January 11, 2021
The CFS has 40 fire units in the area supported by farm firefighting equipment, six water-bombing aircraft and four observation planes.
It says strong winds are fanning the fire towards Lucindale ahead of a cool change after soaring temperatures earlier on Monday.
The following roads are closed:
Koonetta Road and Black Range Road Lucindale
Woollombool Road and Rowney Road Wollombool
Lachaber Lane and Riddoch Highway Lachaber
Lucindale Road and Riddoch Highway Naracoorte
Reid Road and Spence Coles Road Spence
Avenue Range Road and Princes Highway Reedy Creek
Minnie Crowe Road and Rowney Road Reedy Creek
Scott Creek Road and Rowney Road Scott Creek
Country Fire Service duty commander Brenton Hastie said the underlying dryness across SA meant fires could become dangerous very quickly.
"We had a later start to the season but we're now into January and the fuel is completely cured which means fires can burn to their maximum," he said according to AAP.
"An extreme fire danger rating does mean that a fire has the potential to absolutely threaten lives and homes."
Fire crews are on standby across the state with command centres established and water-bombing aircraft prepared.
Adelaide reached 38 degrees on Monday, while regional parts of the state saw temperatures creep into the low 40s, however a cool change is expected later today.
Fire danger forecast for NSW
After a wet start to the year, NSW can expect high heat and increased fire danger in the coming weeks.
A high pressure system over the Tasman Sea is drawing warmer air across NSW, with the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting temperatures to hit the high 30s and lows 40s.
Southern NSW and the Riverina are already feeling the heat but it will build and spread across the state, likely until Friday.
The Riverina is currently the subject of a very high danger rating, which will extend until Thursday.
Parts of the state can expect no relief at night following those sweltering days, as the temperature is expected to remain high into the evening.
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