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Losses from Hills fire continue to rise

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Losses from the Adelaide Hills bushfire continue to climb with 86 homes now confirmed destroyed, along with almost 500 other buildings.

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The Country Fire Service says more than 900 properties have been assessed, with another seven suffering major damage and 20 minor damage.

The number of vehicles lost has jumped to 278.

Agricultural losses are also mounting with about 1100 hectares of vineyards thought destroyed or damaged, equal to about one-third of the area’s grape production.

The mounting damage bill comes as CFS crews brace for a day of increased fire danger with rising temperatures and winds across the fireground.

Adelaide is expected to have a top of 33C on Monday before the mercury again climbs to about 40C by Saturday.

The Bureau of Meteorology said there was zero chance of any rain in the coming week.

The CFS said the next few days would be challenging with a total fire ban in place for the Hills district.

“There are still a lot of pockets of bush burning, there are a lot of trees that are hot and smouldering and it’s a very dangerous place to be,” deputy chief officer Andrew Stark said.

“If we see very hot and windy conditions, unfortunately, we may see the fire break out.

“So people again need to be listening for the messaging that will come from the CFS and we ask people to be diligent in responding to the advice.”

Losses are also being assessed in other parts of SA where fires broke out during catastrophic conditions on Friday.

On Kangaroo Island, one home has been destroyed but a number of others are still to be checked.

So far about 40,000 hectares have been burnt across the state, including 25,000 hectares in the Adelaide Hills.

One person, 69-year-old Ron Selth, died in that fire as he tried to defend his property at Charleston.

Three more remain in hospital with burns, including noted horse trainer John Glatz, who is in a critical but stable condition.

– AAP

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