Buses cancelled or schools shut on November scorcher

SOME schools and businesses across the Mid North will be closed today (Wednesday) on the back of a catastrophic Fire Danger Rating, with temperatures set to soar above 40°C and wind speeds in the 40km/h range.

While several centres across the state could break maximum temperature records for November, the Bureau of Meteorology confirmed Eudunda was the only Mid North location eyeing off a possible new all-time high.

The town’s maximum recorded November temperature is 41.5°C, and the forecast matches that chart topper.

School sites across the Mid North will either be closing completely or remaining open but cancelling bus services.

Burra Community School and schools in Clare will be closed in the event of a catastrophic Fire Danger Rating forecast, with parents to be notified from 2.30pm Tuesday.

Horizon Christian School in Balaklava also planned to close if forecast danger ratings were in the catastrophic category.

“For the safety of so many of our students, families and staff who would need to travel through a ‘catastrophic’ area on this day, Horizon is likely to declare a School Closure Day,” principal, Mike Clisby explained.

Families were notified at about 4pm Tuesday, pending confirmation of the forecast on the CFS website.

Other major sites including Riverton and District High School, Jamestown Community School and Eudunda Area School will remain open as normal but bus routes would be cancelled.

Balaklava High School and Balaklava Primary School were also likely to have bus routes affected.

These schools will remain open unless there is imminent threat from a fire in the area.

Parents can choose to drive their children in from home if they wish.

Wednesday’s conditions could be the first time all of the school buses have been cancelled due to a catastrophic Fire Danger Rating in the three years principal, Dianna Jarman, has been at Balaklava Primary School.

Mrs Jarman said a message was prepared on Monday alerting parents of the potential bus cancellation, which was communicated by the school after 4pm on Tuesday, when the CFS released its Fire Danger Rating for the following day.

“The school keeps parents informed using several mediums, including text message, an alerts app called Flexibuzz, and a general announcement on its Facebook page,” she said.

“The Department for Education has policies and guidelines, and along with our local bus policy, we have a clear process.

“Children’s safety is of our highest concern and while the school will offer a normal program, we do understand that parents and caregivers are in the best position to make individual decisions about the risk.”

Businesses in the region are also reacting to the weather forecast, with Pikes Wines shutting for the day, while Balaklava Café has publicly declared it will provide heat relief for residents if they need somewhere to cool off.

The Red Cross issued reminders for regional residents to have plans in place for both coping with the heat and potentially evacuating in the event of an emergency.

National parks and reserves are closed from midnight Tuesday until midnight Wednesday in regions with catastrophic fire danger ratings in place.