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Arsonists Strike In Blakeview, SA On New Year’s Eve

A calm NYE afternoon. A dry grass field that is only hours away from being lit.
Source: Leesa Little

The small, semi-rural suburb of Blakeview (near Adelaide) was struck by arsonists this New Year’s Eve, threatening the many homes that were separated from it only by a single road.

Working quickly – this far-left area of the blaze was dealt with promptly.
Source: Leesa Little

The grassfire spread quickly across the dry field, meaning that the response to the scene had to be quick – and it was. Given the size of the field, the strong Adelaide winds tonight and the dry heat, the threat to the area was very real, as the locals quickly realised.

Five Country Fire Service trucks and two Metropolitan Fire Service crews attended the scene and worked for nearly an hour to completely eliminate the blaze. While it did take awhile to rid of each spot-fire, they had the whole situation under control relatively quickly. Maneuvering their trucks over the tricky ditch, firemen worked with grace to handle what was a potentially disastrous scenario. Police did their best to divert any traffic away from the blaze, which started around 10:30pm. Police also issued a search helicopter that explored the site for around 20-30 minutes after the blaze was eliminated, seeking the three male suspects that were witnessed fleeing the scene.

Source: Leesa Little

The Metropolitan Fire Service initially reported that houses were under threat, but thanks to all involved, the fire has been eliminated and there has been no property damage. Again, given the circumstances, it is incredible that the men and women of Elizabeth’s Fire Services were able to put an end to the threat so quickly. Watching one of the firemen stumble towards the police officer who was assisting them – looking absolutely exhausted – served as a sobering reminder that these men and woman are always working tirelessly behind the scenes to protect us.


Weary, one of the firemen discusses the situation with a police officer, then reflects on the battle he just emerged from.
Source: Leesa Little

What many viewed as a side-show, was indeed a very real threat to homes and lives, and these people saved us all. So to them, and to the assisting police officers, thank you and sorry that this is how you had to begin 2014.

Personal note: I saw a single firework from the same area only minutes before the blaze took hold. While police believe this to be arsonists, I am sure that it will soon emerge that this was a result of illegal fireworks. This information has been reported to crimestoppers.