Farm land to ashes

Arson has been ruled out as the cause of a bushfire that came too close for comfort for residents in the Mount Compass area on Sunday, February 3. 

The Country Fire Service (CFS) was first called out to the fire at 10am, before the first CFS warning message to residents was issued about 11.30am. A watch and act message was issued about 12.30pm, urging people to take action as the bushfire threatened their safety. 

Throughout the day the fire burned through 108 hectares along Victor Harbor Road and Cleland Gully Road with huge flames engulfing farm land, scrub, and pine plantation before it was declared contained by 8.45pm on Sunday night.

CFS and Metropolitan Fire Service firefighters joined forces with farm fire units to actively defend houses in the area. Scorch marks within metres of homes show just how close the fire got to destroying them, while farm land was charred.

“At the height of the fire we had 36 trucks on the fireground, so about 140 firefighters,” a CFS spokeswoman said.

Although no homes were lost, the CFS spokeswoman said there were some stock losses and a hay shed was destroyed. The fire did not go into the Fleurieu Swamp.

Four aerial bombers and the helicopter water tank made 83 drops over the course of the day, and Victor Harbor Road was closed as the fire crossed the road.

The fire was contained on Sunday night, but on Monday there was some concern around the south-west corner of the fire, as it continued to burn in difficult terrain at the pine plantation about two kilometres from the Mount Compass township. 

There was lots of smoke in the Mount Compass township and along the roads during Sunday and Monday, which affected visibility.

Fire cause investigators are yet to determine the cause of the fire but have ruled out arson. The ignition point was on the eastern side of Victor Harbor Road, about two kilometres south of Mount Compass.

For more information about bushfires, visit www.cfs.sa.gov.au or call the Bushfire Information Hotline on 1800 362 361.

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