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South Australia fire destroys vineyard

Firefighters are battling a bushfire that has so far burnt through 12,500 hectares in South Australia, destroying at least half of one winery’s vineyard.

The fire broke out on Saturday afternoon at Sampson Flat in the Adelaide Hills region prompting the South Australian Government to declare the area a disaster zone, according to reports by ABC News. 

The fire, which has burned through an area with a perimeter of 240km, has been described as the worst seen in the area for three decades.

Country Fire Service (CFS) chief officer Greg Nettleton said the area burnt was almost the equivalent of the road length between Sydney and Canberra.

Firefighters are still battling blazes in the Sampson Flat area north of the Gawler Native Forest Reserve and Millbrook east of Adelaide, with the CFS confirming today that 60% of the fire’s perimeter had now been contained.

Kersbrook Hill Wines has been hit particularly hard with its managing director Paul Clark reporting damage to at least 50% of its vines, possibly more.

“It reminded me of one of those old movies where aliens vaporise things. That’s what it looks like, no ash, nothing, it’s just gone”, he told ABC News.

Thankfully, the winery building, equipment and cellar escaped damage. The winery specialises in cool climate wines producing upwards of 60,000 bottles of red, white, dessert and sparkling wines each year.

No wineries or cellar doors have been damaged, however the effects of smoke damage on vineyards in the area is yet to be assessed. So far the fire has destroyed or significantly damaged 38 houses, 125 other buildings and 4 businesses, according to reports by the CFS.

Earlier this year a bushfire swept through 2,000 hectares of the Barossa Valley causing damage to several wineries.

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