A day on the ground in the South Australian bushfire evacuation zone

Posted May 06, 2019 06:33:22 The South Australian Government says it has been overwhelmed by the number of people who have already left their homes and businesses in the bushfire evacuations zone.

The South Australia Government said on Thursday the number had jumped to a record high of 9,000 in just 24 hours, with the area currently experiencing temperatures as high as 97C.

Chief Executive Ian McGregor said the area was “in the midst of a major fire season”.

“We have had a record number of evacuations in just a short time,” he said.

“We are not getting a lot of support from the community and we have not got enough staff, so it’s just a huge challenge for our firefighters.”

Mr McGregor said he was hopeful people would come back, but they would have to make do with the resources of the government.

“You know, it’s going to be very difficult to keep people out,” he told ABC Radio Adelaide.

“And we need to do a lot better.”

The fire has destroyed at least 5,000 hectares in South Australia, with another 7,000 being lost.

The area in the state’s south is expected to be devastated for weeks.

The fire also destroyed about 600 homes and damaged a number of commercial properties in the area.

Mr McGregor urged people to “take the necessary steps” to ensure their homes were safe.

“There’s no point in going through this alone, you need the help of the Government, you can go to your local fire service and make sure they are there and we will be there to support you,” he added.

“This will be a very challenging situation for us, but we’ll be there for you.”

More than 1,300 people have been evacuated from their homes since the fire broke out in early February, according to the South Australia Fire and Emergency Services Agency (SAFE).

Mr McGregor acknowledged there was “no doubt” many people who had left had been affected by the fire.

“It’s been a huge loss for our community, it has had a significant impact on our business, our schools and our community,” he explained.

“But we are still in control of the situation and we are taking steps to ensure people are safe and secure and that they have all the resources they need to stay safe.”

Mr Duncan said the community would have “no shortage of support” for those affected by bushfire emergencies.

“People will have to go through the fire, they will have a very difficult time,” Mr Duncan told ABC radio.

“The fire will burn for days, days, even weeks.

We will have no shortage of help and we want to make sure people have the resources to get through this.”