First bushfire hits Cleve for 2018-2019 season

The Cleve, Mangalo and Rudall Country Fire Service brigades have battled their first fire for the season.

3.5 hectares burned in a scrub and grass fire along the scenic road in Mangalo on Wednesday.

The fire flared up from a burnoff the previous Friday, despite no signs of smoke on the weekend between.

With nobody home when the fire began, the CFS estimate it went unnoticed for an hour.

CFS trucks who first responded called for backup to prevent the fast-spreading fire from reaching thicker scrub.

Had the fire reached the scrub, it would have likely burned overnight.

The blaze was contained after half an hour, but took around three hours to fully extinguish.

Eastern Eyre group officer Bryan Trigg said the scenic road is in one of the wettest areas in the region, and it was concerning how quickly the fire spread on a relatively low risk day.

“It strikes alarm bells,” he said.

Mr. Trigg said hotter weather and higher winds will pose a major threat later in the season, if a September fire in a relatively wet area was able to spread so quickly.

He said the CFS are “going to have to adjust our callout,” and that they will need to increase their response.

Mr. Trigg urged those completing burnoffs to use caution, and to be aware of how quickly fire will spread this year.