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Two Killed As Bushfires Destroy Half Of South Australia's Kangaroo Island

Two Killed As Bushfires Destroy Half Of South Australia's Kangaroo Island

The fires have destroyed 150,000 hectares of land

Tom Wood

Tom Wood

Two people have been killed by a gigantic bushfire that tore through Kangaroo Island - Australia's third largest island - destroying 150,000 hectares of land in the process.

The victims were in a vehicle that was consumed by the flames, emergency services have confirmed.

Now, a police forensic unit is heading to the scene on the island, which is off the coast of South Australia.

The SA Premier, Steven Marshall, said: "Very sad that we have heard two people have died in the fires.

"The forensic team from SAPOL [SA Police] is on its way, as we have more information we will make it known.

"At the moment the focus is on informing next of kin, our hearts go out to the family of those people that have been affected."

7 News

In total, around half of the island has been destroyed by the bushfires, which have been devastating large swathes of Australia.

The fires have so far led to a total of 23 deaths according to the Guardian, and have also destroyed homes, farms, and other buildings.

It isn't over yet, either. In fact, more damage has been predicted as the fires are expected to burn, escalating the cost in the process.

Michael Pengilly, the Mayor of Kangaroo Island, told ABC News: "It has been absolutely devastating.

"The destruction is immense. To have an island more or less half burnt is unbelievable."

There are 350 firefighters already on the island, and around 170 more are expected to arrive today. Marshall added that support for those affected by the fires - expected by fire chiefs to burn for a few more days - would be addressed, and a community recovery officer has been appointed.

He said: "It's clear that South Australia has had an extraordinarily difficult time with extensive damage right across our state.

"Our focus at the moment is doing everything that we possibly can to contain the fire on Kangaroo Island.

"But very quickly our focus will move onto recovery."

7 News

The CFS (South Australia Country Fire Service) has issued a warning regarding the fire at Ravine, on the west coast of the island, which is currently burning out of control.

It said: "Take action now as this bushfire may threaten your safety.

"If you are not prepared, leave now and if the path is clear, go to a safer place.

"Do not enter this area as conditions are dangerous."

Many of the 5,000 tourists who were on the island have begun to leave by ferry on Saturday morning after they spent the night in temporary evacuation centres.

Featured Image Credit: 7 News

Topics: World News, Bushfires, Australia