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Some Hills Wineries Closing Ahead of ‘Catastrophic’ Fire Rating

By Friday 5 January 2018No Comments

Several cellar doors in the Adelaide Hills have announced they will be closed tomorrow (Saturday 6 January) because of a ‘Catastrophic’ bushfire rating by local fire authority the CFS.

Adelaide is expecting a top temperature of 41 degrees and high winds. The main danger will be late morning and early afternoon with 45 km/h winds expected.

Wineries shutting for the day include Ashton Hills Vineyard, Lobethal Road and Anderson Hill.

Anderson Hill posted on Facebook: “Saturday the 6th of January has been called as a Catastrophic fire danger day so for the safety of everyone and so we can put our fire plan into action if needed, Anderson Hill will be closed. Back on Sunday!”

Inga Lidums of Lobethal Road told WBM: “Yes, our cellar door is also closed today. We made the decision at lunchtime yesterday, once the catastrophic rating had been confirmed, and put it out on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. It can be a difficult decision to close especially if, as in our case, the cellar door is only open on weekends. For us, however, it’s a no brainer – we do not want to put the safety of our visitors at possible risk so the decision to close forms part of our Bushfire Survival Plan.

“We have closed the cellar door on one previous occasion and received only positive feedback from potential visitors and the local community. Hoping today will be incident free for the Adelaide Hills!”

Barristers Block will remain open. They posted this message on Facebook: “Although tomorrow’s weather is categorised as a catastrophic fire day for the hills, we will be open and taking every precaution possible to maintain the safety of our patrons and staff.”

Meanwhile Chapel Hill in the neighbouring wine region of McLaren Vale will also close for the day.

Catastrophic conditions have been declared for the Mount Lofty Ranges and the Upper and Lower South East.

The official forecast for Adelaide: “Hot to very hot, dry and windy with northwesterly winds 30 to 50 km/h ahead of a squally southwest to southerly change moving across the State during the day. Wind speeds increasing to 40 to 60 km/h with gusts around 70 to 90 km/h with and immediately following the change, especially in the afternoon and early evening. Possible thunderstorms in the far northeast. This warning affects all districts.”

The last significant bushfire in the Adelaide Hills occurred at Sampson Flat in 2015. It destroyed 27 houses and 140 outbuildings.

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Where fire ban districts have a forecast fire danger rating of Catastrophic, well prepared, well constructed and defended homes may not be safe during a fire. To ensure your survival you should leave tonight or early tomorrow morning.

Where fire ban districts have a forecast fire danger rating of Extreme, only well prepared, well constructed and actively defended houses are likely to offer safety during a fire.

Where fire ban districts have a forecast fire danger rating of Severe, well prepared and actively defended houses can offer safety during a fire.

If you don’t have a plan to ensure your survival, leaving early before a fire starts is your safest option.

In making your plan, you should be aware that in high fire danger conditions, essential services including mains-fed electricity and water supply may not be available due to the prevailing weather conditions.

Landowners are asked to adhere to local harvest codes of practice which are available from your local council.

Landowners are also asked to ensure that any burn-off activities conducted today are fully extinguished before midnight tonight.

Agencies are advised to activate their Total Fire Ban procedures in preparation for these predicted fire weather conditions.

For further information contact the Bushfire Information Hotline on 1300 362 361 or visit


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