SATURDAY UPDATE (Day 23): Cynthia Fryar has written a poem about Islanders being grateful for all the help we have received and pinned it with ribbons outside her place on Kohinoor Road. Read it below. We hope all our visiting firefighters and helpers take solace from her message.
The KI fires remain at Advice level. There continue to be spot fires and small break-outs throughout the fire ground that the CFS and local farm fire units are blacking out as best they can. The cooler weather and conditions are helping but we need to stay vigilant and report any unattended fire. There will be more hot weather in weeks ahead.
Please be careful around the fire grounds as it is still a hazardous environment and you should not be there unless you have to be. Check traffic.sa.gov.au and obey road closures.
Work continues on water, power and mobile phone Infrastructure in the fireground. SA Water continues to urge everyone on Kangaroo Island to conserve water, only using it for essential purposes.
The ADF and Army continue to work under the direction of the Incident Management Team. Royal Australian Air Force airmen unloaded stores from a C-17A Globemaster aircraft when it flew into the Kangaroo Island Airport on Friday evening to deliver supplies and equipment during Operation Bushfire Assist.
Premier Stephen Marshall, who has now appointed himself as Tourism Minister, held a roundtable this morning at Emu Bay Lavender planning how to move forward. Unaffected business remain trading and need business, so locals head out for a coffee or a treat and help reassure our traders. If you're reading this "overseas" come and visit soon or donate to the relief fund.
How to help
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The volunteers at the Junction Community Centre have matched volunteers to needs. As a team, they registered over 300 people and offers of goods and services. Great work continues at Island Care and around the Island. There are so many stories to tell.
The Kingscote Market will go ahead tomorrow, Sunday morning, as scheduled and organisers hope it will be an opportunity for people to gather, connect and reflect after the events of the past week. They understand that it's likely be quiet but the market is donating stall fees to bushfire relief and stallholders will also be donating a percentage of their sales on the day.
The KI Wildlife Carnival with Archie Roach that was set for this weekend has been postponed but a few musicians already on Island will gather for an informal gig down at Reeves Point, Kingscote at 3pm afternoon. Any local musicians welcome to attend.
Kangaroo Island is actually one "small town" spread over 150km. The Penneshaw CWA ladies are hosting a fundraising barbecue and trading table at the Kingscote Mitre10 from 10am to 2pm on Thursday, January 16.
I am planning to head out to Parndana tomorrow, Jan. 12, if it is safe to do so, in preparation for next week's Islander print edition. I'm hoping to catch up with a few people to how see how things are going out there.
In the meantime, stay strong, do your bit and love one another... - - - Stan Gorton
Read our previous coverage: Kangaroo Island goes round three in its bushfire battle - we are down, not out
Here is Cynthia Fryar's poem:
K.I's Fire Battlefield!
With so much we've lost so far,
On K.I we still stand firm,
As we wait in eager patience,
For our true heroes to confirm.
Have our towns been saved?
Locals homes and jobs, their farm,
Or have we lost too much,
While you fight fires out to harm?
One thing you can be sure of,
Our island's thankful for your help,
As we've layed our faith in you,
Through all the heartache we have
So no matter what is lost or saved,
We all know you gave your all,
You've battled our unstoppable fires,
A memory us islanders will recall.
So thankyou to the CFS and ARMY,
And our locals for support and care,
As we've helped each other through
That has been anything but fair.
We will have victory over these fires,
Then our island as one can rebuild,
While we never forget your sacrifices,
As you fought on K.I's