More than 700 firefighters tackle blaze as temperature rises

At least 26 homes have been destroyed and 29 people injured in the bushfires in the Adelaide Hills in Southern Australia.

South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill said 41 outbuildings have also been destroyed or badly damaged by the Sampson Flat fire but that figure is expected to climb. Mr Weatherill said 29 people have been injured or hospitalised as a result of the fire.

More than 700 firefighters are desperately tackling the fires, which have been burning since Friday. Around 12,500 hectares of land have been burnt since Friday, according to reports, and firefighters from South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales are battling to contine the fire within its 240km perimeter, to clear roads to help restore services and to protect the more than 1000 homes in the fire zone.

“This is by no means over,” Mr Weatherill said. “We’re really racing against time to try to make sure that we get as much of this contained before the hotter weather and the stronger winds are expected later in the week.”

 A photo taken on January 4 shows the burnt out remains of a property in the Adelaide Hills district of Gumeracha.

A photo taken on January 4 shows the burnt out remains of a property in the Adelaide Hills district of Gumeracha.

The Country Fire Service (CFS) has downgraded its emergency warning for the Sampson Flat bushfire to a Watch and Act but has warned the Adelaide Hills blaze continues to burn in all directions. The CFS says the four-day old fire has not expanded significantly today, but conditions are predicted to worsen.

Fire crews continued backburning operations on Frank Barker Road, Bassnet Road and Humbug Scrub Road overnight in an effort to contain the fire before temperatures rise again.

Temperatures are expected to soar to 38 degrees tomorrow while thunderstorms are expected on Wednesday.

Mr Weatherill said conditions are hindering the damage assessment teams, but authorities were determined to allow residents access to their properties as soon as practical.

The Country Fire Service says the four-day old fire has not expanded significantly on Monday, but conditions are predicted to worsen.