Conditions ease after homes destroyed in SA

Twelve homes have been lost in South Australia as thousands of hectares lay scorched across the state.

But easing weather conditions have enabled firefighters to gain the upper hand on a large blaze in the Eden Valley on Saturday night.

Residents of the small town of Truro were issued an emergency warning on Saturday afternoon, as the large fire made a run towards the Sturt Highway.

The SA Country Fire Service (CFS) warned that the blaze, which has burnt through more than 22,500 hectares since Friday, was putting lives and homes at risk.

But by about 8pm (CST) the CFS had downgraded the alert to a watch and act.

However, the CFS said weather conditions were erratic, so people should remain vigilant.

The downgrade came after about 160 firefighters were supported by nine aircraft at the fire throughout Saturday, a CFS spokesman told AAP.

The fire was one of five out-of-control blazes in the state.

Also of concern was a fire at Bangor in the southern Flinders Ranges, where the CFS said conditions were continually changing.

A watch and act alert was issued in the afternoon, with residents urged not to return to the area until advised.

But the CFS spokesman said crews had experienced a “pretty reasonable day”, with milder conditions allowing firefighters to get the better of some blazes.

“We have had a day where we have been able to consolidate a lot of fires and nothing new has kicked off.”

Five homes have been lost in the Bangor blaze, with two destroyed in the Billiat park region and five lost in Eden Valley.

However, the CFS said the number could increase as damage assessment crews were deployed.

There has been substantial stock losses.

Premier Jay Weatherill said it would be an achievement if the state came through the fires without loss of life or substantial property loss.

For those who have been affected, disaster relief assistance would be made available.

“For those people who have lost their homes and other property including livestock, this will be devastating,” Mr Weatherill said in a statement on Saturday.

“We will respond to each and every one of those families to make sure that they have the support they need to be able to cope with the losses that they’ve suffered.”

CFS assistant chief officer Rob Sandford said while firefighters had gained the upper hand, he called on people to remain on alert.

“Anywhere where we have had a fire in the last seven days, people need to be vigilant because whilst the threat may have reduced with the cooler temperatures, the wind is still reasonably strong and gusty,” he told the ABC.

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