So far, they have likely destroyed more than 30 homes, injured over 20 people and burned getting on for 30,000 acres.
South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill said the situation was still “very serious” but bulletins from the fire service suggest some previously closed access roads in the affected areas were now re-opening.
A statement from the South Australian Country Fire Service (CFS) issued at 10 past midnight on 5 January said access to the Sampson Flat fire ground in the Adelaide Hills was still restricted but it was continuing to work through the night to open where possible strategic roads for residents only to get to their properties.
The CFS said it appreciated that residents living in the affected areas were anxious to return to their homes and properties, but emphasised that unless these areas were fully assessed their safety in entering certain areas could not be guaranteed.
It advised residents either already in, or returning to, their properties to be aware of hazards including falling trees, fallen power lines, thick swirling smoke and escaped stock and wild life crossing roads making driving conditions dangerous.
It was also critical that non-resident members of the public stayed well clear of the fire ground.
The Red Cross had established its “Register. Find. Reunite.” program – details can be found at https://register.redcross.org.au/