Mallala bushfire: Pigs burned alive, woman trampled by horse as terrified residents flee SA blaze.



Residents have told of the horror of the major bushfire burning in South Australia, with one revealing he had no choice but to leave thousands of animals at a piggery for dead and another describing how his wife was trampled by a horse as she fled.

The out-of-control fire north of Adelaide has killed two people and there are unconfirmed reports of a third dead, while a number of houses have also been destroyed.

Orroroo resident Mick told 891 ABC Adelaide his son called him to say a piggery where he works had burnt down.

“He works at a piggery between Wasleys and Mallala … they’ve lost that, all the pigs are gone,” he said.

“They tried to save that but it’s no good.”

The Wasleys Piggery is one of the state’s largest pig farms. Locals on social media estimate that as many as 9,000 pigs may be dead.

Andrew, who works at the piggery, said he and his colleagues had no choice but to evacuate.

“It was pretty scary seeing it coming over the hill coming towards work,” he said.

“We were there with firefighters ready to fight it and we just turned and ran. It was big. I think my work’s gone or at least the majority of it.”

The Wasleys Bowling Club has also been completely gutted by fire.

Many of the residents who were forced to flee own horses, and do not know the condition of their animals.

Paul O’Brien was moving cattle when his wife called “screaming ‘the fire is here'”.

“By the time I got home she had let the horses out and she is now in hospital,” he told 891 ABC Adelaide.

“She has been trampled by one of the horses. So now I’ve got a stallion and three mares running around the property.”


He said his wife left with the dogs and children for the hospital.

Mallala farmer Peter March said about a dozen farmhouses in the immediate vicinity of the fire had been destroyed. He did not expect any farm animals to have survived.

“Our house here and house and sheds here have survived, but every square inch of ground I think has been burnt,” he said.

“We’ve got neighbours who haven’t got any houses and haven’t got any stock – we’ve got neighbours who are a lot worse off than we are.”

The size and speed of the fire has caused havoc for residents as well as those travelling in the area.

Matthew told 891 ABC Adelaide he drove through the area and saw sheds burning.

“There’d be 10 or something sheds, one house with only a chimney left,” he said.

Brian was on the Sturt Highway near Roseworthy and saw stretches of scorched farmland.

“The crop land still smouldering, hay stacks, the fence posts and that still burning,” he said.

Mark Gardiner, who owns a home about one kilometre from the firefront, said the blaze was jumping hundreds of metres.

“They have the bombers going and everything and there’s really only one direction they’ll be able to stop it in, and that’s heading towards Gawler as fast as it can I guess,” Mr Gardiner said.

“It would be pretty hard to stop in this wind, it’s jumping ahead probably 300 metres at a time.”

The Country Fire Service said damage assessment teams would move into the area once it was safe.

This post originally appeared on ABC Online.


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