Firefighters brace for worst Christmas Day conditions in 30 years
SA Firefighters are bracing for the worst Christmas Day fire conditions in almost 30 years. The hot spell is set to continue, but it is a cool change forecast for the afternoon that has emergency services on edge. Andrea Nicolas reports
South Australia is bracing for bushfires over the festive season, with authorities predicting the most dangerous Christmas Day fire conditions in decades.
The mercury is set to reach 37C in Adelaide on Friday, with strong northerly winds forecast throughout the morning.
A significant change is tipped to arrive mid-afternoon, bringing cooler temperatures but also very gusty southerly winds and possible lightning storms.
Total fire bans are expected to be issued in up to 10 districts and firefighters will be on standby across the state to deal with any flare-ups.
Country Fire Service state coordinator Leigh Miller says the forecast conditions are the worst he can recall for Christmas Day in almost 30 years.
"We don't need to have catastrophic conditions for bad fires to start," he told reporters.
"We've had many fires continue, throughout all the years we've been in the CFS, in conditions much less than what we're going to be facing on Christmas Day."
Bureau of Meteorology acting regional director John Nairn said Friday's forecast cool change should not be cause for complacency.
"What we're likely to see is that the most dangerous fire conditions are after the change comes through," he said.
15 Extreme Weather Events That Rocked the Planet in 2015
Heat wave in India is literally melting the roads. Temp up to 48 °C 118 °F http://ow.ly/PViXB