Around 1,000 Emergency Fire Service volunteers from 60 brigades were tasked to the fires, but were overwhelmed. At 10am, the EFS head office requested urgent public assistance. Around 2,500 citizens volunteered. The fires were contained by 9:30pm, thanks largely to a fortuitous change in the weather and widespread public assistance.
The fires resulted in two deaths, destroyed 40 homes and numerous other buildings, and caused more than four million dollars worth of property damage, most notably the destruction of the Governor's summer residence at Marble Hill. Governor Robert George, his family and staff were lucky to escape with their lives. The Premier, Sir Thomas Playford, also narrowly escaped death, sheltering with five other men in a patch of hoed earth near Cherryville. The burnt area was estimated at as much as 600 square miles (160,000 ha) stretching from One Tree Hill to Strathalbyn, however other sources put the area at closer to 150 sq mi (39,000 ha).