Residents near an out-of-control bushfire in South Australia’s southeast have been told they should take shelter because it is now too late to leave the area.
An emergency warning is in place for people in Lucindale, Avenue Range, Woolumbool and Stewarts Range.
“You are now in danger,” the Country Fire Service (CFS) said in an alert issued on Monday afternoon.
“Take shelter in a solid building. Do not leave or enter this area in a vehicle or on foot.
“It is too late to leave as the roads will not be safe.”
The CFS said conditions were dangerous and firefighters were now unable to stop the fire from spreading.
“Shelter before the fire arrives as heat can kill you well before the flames reach you,” the alert read.
The grass fire is burning in an easterly direction towards Corbins Lane, Brooklyn Road and Woolumbool Road at Lucindale, Tresant Road, Marona Downs Road, Fairview Road and Stewarts Range Road at Stewarts Range.
However, the CFS warned conditions were continually changing.
A Watch and Act message is also in place for the towns of Woolumbool, Lochaber, Naracoorte, Cadgee, Kybybolite, Hynam, Mount Light and Moyhall.
“Take action now as this bushfire may threaten your safety,” the message said.
The blaze first broke out at nearby Blackford, about 150km northwest of Mount Gambier in the Mount Scott Conservation Park.
It has so far burnt through more than 12,000 hectares of land.
SA Power Networks reports that more than 3100 customers in the state’s southeast are now without power.
The outage is affecting towns including Naracoorte, Kingston SE, Lucindale, Blackford and Coorong.
Temperatures across South Australia soared on Monday, reaching 38.9C at Naracoorte, east of the bushfire warning area, at 2.30pm.
The Bureau of Meteorology said the combination of hot temperatures, a dry atmosphere and fresh and gusty winds had made for severe-to-extreme fire weather conditions in parts of the state.
“The west and south of the state is experiencing a low-intensity heatwave, increasing to severe heatwave conditions in the far-west early this week,” the bureau said on Monday.
“A milder, fresh and gusty southerly wind change will gradually extend over the western and southern districts during Monday.”
The BoM urges motorists to take care in agricultural areas as conditions will remain dry and raised dust is a possibility.