Kangaroo Island bushfires

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Kangaroo Island bushfires
FlindersChaseNP 0802.jpg
A significant proportion of Flinders Chase National Park was burnt in this bushfire event
LocationKangaroo Island, South Australia
Date(s)6 December 2007 – 14 December 2007
Burned area170 square kilometres (42,000 acres)
CauseLightning, strong winds
Land useMixed, residential, bush and tourist attractions
Fatalities1 life

The Kangaroo Island bushfires were a series of bushfires caused by lightning strikes on 6 December 2007 on Kangaroo Island, South Australia, resulting in 95,000 ha of land being destroyed. The fires occurred mainly across the western side of the island near Flinders Chase National Park, Vivonne Bay, D'Estrees Bay, Western River and Riverleas.

The D'Estrees Bay fire in Cape Gantheaume Conservation Park was contained by 12 December 2007, while intense fires in the west, which included the protected areas of Flinders Chase National Park and Ravine des Casoars Wilderness Protection Area, were more difficult to extinguish.[1]

On 14 December 2007, the Country Fire Service officially announced that all fires were contained. The event was South Australia's largest bush fire operation to date with over 800 personnel, 7 fixed wing water bombers and an Elvis Skycrane Helitanker all assisting in firefighting efforts, together with units from Victoria's Country Fire Authority and the Rural Fire Service of New South Wales.

Possible State of Emergency[edit]

A state of emergency had been considered but was rejected on 10 December 2007 due to cooler conditions. A state of emergency would have seen the Australian Army move in to assist the Country Fire Service and Department of Environment personnel.


Burn scars show red in this false-colour satellite image of Kangaroo Island, South Australia taken by NASA in December 2007

Before being contained on 16 December 2007, over 900 km² ( or 20% of the Island ) had been burnt, principally within National Park and Conservation Reserves. The most serious outbreak occurred in Flinders Chase, with 630 km² ( or 85% of the total Park area ) having been burnt. The total damage bill is estimated at $2.3m.[2]


  1. ^ "Burn Scars on Kangaroo Island". Earth Observatory Newsroom. Archived from the original on 22 September 2008. Retrieved 2016-04-22.
  2. ^ The Islander 2008-02-14

Further reading[edit]