Two Dead In SA Bushfires, 'Grave Concerns' For Many More

26/11/2015 9:21 AM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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Burning dry grass at night

Australia's horror bushfire season has gone from bad to worse, with the lives of six people now lost across the nation and grave concerns the death toll could rise as hundreds of firefighters battle an out-of-control blaze north of Adelaide.

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill confirmed on Thursday that two people had been killed in the massive uncontrolled fire burning near the towns of Owen, Hamley Bridge, Tarlee, Freeling, Wasleys, Kapunda, Greenock.

The first fatality, 69-year-old former volunteer firefighter Allan Tiller, was reportedly found in a paddock close to Pinery, while the body of a 56-year-old woman was discovered in a car near Hamley Bridge.

Updating media this afternoon, Weatherill said no one was currently listed as missing in the fire affected area.

"There no suggestion of anyone who remains unaccounted for," he told reporters in Adelaide.

The latest deaths come after four people died earlier this month in bushfires in Western Australia -- the state's worst bushfire crisis in 50 years.

A local farmer and three young Europeans were killed in the fire north of Esperance that burnt around 120,000 hectares of bush less than 10 days ago.

Weatherill said 30 people had been treated for injuries as a result of the South Australian blaze that has so far torn through more than 85,000 hectares.

A number of those injured in the blaze are in a critical condition, with one of them suffering burns to 80 percent of their body.

"Even though a significant proportion of the fire perimeter is under control and the conditions were milder overnight many fire fronts are still active within the fire grounds and they'll continue to be battled for some days," he said earlier in the day.

The fire has a perimeter of more than 210 kilometres, and the ABC reports that part of the fire area is being treated as a crime scene.

Weatherill said initial police investigations suggested the blaze was not deliberately lit.

Sixteen homes have been lost in the blaze so far and 22 other structures have been damaged.

Four hundred firefighters have been battling the blaze on Thursday.

Fire authorities hope to have the fire under control within the next two days and a watch and act alert remains in place for the blaze.

Weatherill said those impacted could access emergency relief of $280 per person, and up to $700 per family.

South Australia's County Fire Service said there remained the potential for structures to be hit by the fire on Thursday "due to ongoing ember attack".

"Members of the public are asked to remain vigilant for the potential for further damage to property and the fire remains uncontrolled," the CFS said on its website.

"Trees affected by fire are a considerable risk and people are to remain clear at all times.

"If your plan is to leave or you are not prepared, leave now."

Meanwhile in NSW, a total fire ban is in place due to very hot conditions and a watch and act alert is currently in place for a fire burning at Turlinjah in the state's south.

The NSW Rural Fire Service says the grass fire on the Princes Highway is being controlled.

The Bureau of Meteorology is warning of severe fire danger for the Greater Hunter, Greater Sydney Region, Northern Slopes and North Western parts of the state.

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