'Mammoth' rebuilding effort needed once KI fire contained

'Mammoth' rebuilding effort needed once KI fire contained

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BENIGN weather conditions over the next few days are expected to assist the Country Fire Service in containing the Ravine fire on Kangaroo Island, which remains uncontrolled and has burnt a staggering 210,550 hectares.

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BENIGN weather conditions over the next few days are expected to assist the Country Fire Service in containing the Ravine fire on Kangaroo Island, which remains uncontrolled and has burnt a staggering 210,550 hectares.

CFS chief officer Mark Jones said winds were forecast to be consistently from the south and mild conditions would allows the CFS to work on strategic operations to contain the fire to the north and east of the fireground.

Mr Jones said firefighters were patrolling the 120-kilometre fire front in trucks and on foot to ensure every hotspot was extinguished.

"We are still seeing some flare ups in parts of the fireground - in the south coast and Seddon areas," he said.

"Areas of Seal Bay and Cape Gantheaume are currently untouched so we are working to ensure we contain the fire in this area to prevent spread into these national parks."

Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie, who on Wednesday visited KI for the third time since the fires began, said the community was being "incredibly stoic", but there was a way to go before recovery could begin in earnest.

"The devastation I viewed was enormous," she said.

"Assistance is coming in and Islanders are resilient, but recovery is not going to happen if we don't commit to supporting the island's agricultural and tourism industries for the long-term."

Ms Sharkie said having easier access to financial assistance was a key issue raised with her by fire-affected residents and said she was pleased to have communication from PIRSA that farmers would be allowed to provide copies of quotes for work to secure $15,000 recovery grants.

Rebuilding the island would be a "mammoth job", according to Ms Sharkie, and setting up freight handling infrastructure at the Kingscote wharf would be vital in assisting with rebuilding efforts.

She also plans to lobby state and federal governments to upgrade the Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers mill, which would allow burnt trees on the KIPT property to be salvaged for fence posts to be used in the rebuild.

"All but one plantation has experienced damage, but a proportion of the burnt trees can still be salvaged for fence posts if we act quickly," Ms Sharkie said.

"We know there was a shortage of fence posts across Australia, even before the fires."

PIRSA is continuing to conduct livestock assessments and on Wednesday confirmed more than 42,000 registered livestock had been destroyed by fire or euthanised as a result of injuries suffered during the blaze.

SA Water Asset Operations and Delivery general manager Mark Gobbie said water supply had been maintained to the island, but they were still asking people to continue conserving water, to help manage storage levels until the entire water network could be brought back online.

He said repairs to the damaged Middle River Water Treatment Plant were progressing well and anticipated the plant would be back online within a week.

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