Authorities have declared the Adelaide Hills bushfire 100 percent contained.
ADELAIDE HILLS – The Hills received afternoon rain on Wednesday, but despite the relief, a number of fires were started near the incident command centre at One Tree Hill.
Country Fire Service chief Greg Nettleton said firefighters now face the prospect of blazes in other areas of the state sparked by lightning strikes.
‘This rain won’t calm the hot spots – it requires people to do work on them,’ Mr Nettleton said.
Premier Jay Weatherill said efforts were now focused on recovery.
‘This remains important and also dangerous work. I have nothing but admiration for the skill and for the dedication of the people that are out there,’ Mr Weatherill said.
Insurance losses from the fire have already passed $13 million, with more claims expected to be lodged over the coming days and weeks.
The number of homes badly damaged or destroyed was also downgraded to 32 from 38.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott says the victims of the Adelaide Hills bush fires will receive federal assistance, but volunteers who lost income when they went to fight the fires will not be compensated by the Commonwealth.
The Prime Minister faced backlash for his failure to make a formals statement about the Adelaide Hills bush fires or visit the region. People from across the nation flooded social media and called talkback radios expressing their outrage.
Mr Abbott toured the bus fire zone in the Adelaide hills on Thursday, meeting with volunteers.
“This is some modest, additional Commonwealth assistance that will be made available to victims of these terrible fires here in South Australia,” Mr Abbott said.
“Now, as a volunteer bushfire fighter myself in NSW, I know that volunteer bushfire fighters make sacrifices, but it’s something which I guess goes with the role and certainly never something which has deterred people from doing what they need to do to help their fellow Australians at a time of need,” he said.
Mr Abbott joined South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill to tour the grounds of the Sampson Flat bushfire, which has burned through the hills for six days.
“The worst of nature brings out the best in people,” Mr Abbott told volunteers, “While we grieve for those who have lost, we can nevertheless be proud of the efforts that have been put in,”
Disaster recovery payments of $1000 for adults and $400 per child, and a 13-week Centrelink allowance for people whose income had been severely affected by the fire is to be made available.
Up to 30 millimetres of rain has fallen on the Adelaide Hills fire ground overnight.
Han Nguyen, Correspondent (Oceania)