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CFS member dead, one seriously injured fighting South East blaze

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A volunteer firefighter has died and another is seriously injured after a tree fell onto a fire truck battling an out-of-control bushfire in South Australia’s southeast.

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The incident occurred at the firefront at Coles, near Lucindale, where the blaze is running uncontrolled through bluegum plantations, scrub and grassland, a Country Fire Service spokeswoman confirmed.

The injured firefighter has been rushed to hospital.

“Family and other personnel have been informed and are being offered support at this time,” the CFS said in a statement.

“The safety and wellbeing of our people is our highest priority and our thoughts are with our CFS family at this time.”

More than 150 firefighters are monitoring the blaze, which has been burning for several days but is not considered an immediate threat to lives or homes.

An emergency warning was issued on Thursday night, when the fire broke through containment lines, but that was downgraded on Friday to an advice message.

About 2000 hectares have been destroyed so far.

SA CFS crews on the ground are being supported by crews from Victoria along with forest industry units and local farmers.

Water bombing aircraft have also been deployed.

“Crews will continue working along the fires’ perimeter and to actively fight any areas that may flare up due to the daytime weather forecast,” the CFS said.

“Whilst overnight conditions eased slightly, an increase in temperature and wind today is expected, which could hinder the efforts of crews on the ground.”

The CFS said locals should stay vigilant and monitor conditions throughout the next few days as it was expected that the conditions will continuously change.

-AAP

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