OVER half a million dollars worth of damage was caused by a bushfire at Marcollat just before Christmas.
Damage to fencing, pastures and stock loss contributed to the figure, which put a sour note on the festive season for many in the region.
It is believed the fire was started by a pump on a windmill about noon on December 23.
Strike teams from around the State worked to contain the blaze with strike teams coming from region one (Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island), region two (Barrossa Valley and Yorke Peninsula) and region three (Coorong and Mallee).
An incident management team was also sent down from Adelaide to Lucindale, from where the firefight was being coordinated.
The blaze burned 5765ha of scrub, fencing and pasture.
About 600 head of sheep at Nepowie were also confirmed lost as of last Friday.
Lucindale CFS group officer Ian Jenke said the fire was contained by 10pm on December 23, where it was "pinched off" at Alaman after being fought on two fronts to the east and west.
But this containment did not come without a fight.
Fire crews initially had to deal with a water shortage owing to the isolated area of the fire and had to overcome this by setting up water points in order to effectively combat the fire.
"We initially had problems with locating a water supply," Mr Jenke said.
Four private tankers and three CFS tankers helped provide water to the trucks.
And then they had to deal with the weather.
"We had it almost contained when we got a windshift, which we contained but then there were two more windshifts," Mr Jenke said.
All up there were 18 fire trucks between Lucindale, Kingston and Tatiara groups, then strike teams from Naracoorte, Tatiara, Wattle Range and Mount Gambier.
On top of that there were four water bombers, two fixed-wing observer aircraft, two bulldozers, Tatiara dry firefighting equipment, a private grader and numerous private trucks used in the fight
The fire was mopped up overnight and all day on Christmas Eve with some additional mopping up on Christmas Day.
Mr Jenke said he was happy with how firefighters from all groups worked together to fight the blaze.
"It was an extremely good effort from everybody involved," he said. "A good team effort."
CFS region five commander John Probert commended crews on their efficient handling of the fire.
"It was a difficult fire that was dealt with well on the day," he said.
As of last Friday the fire was still being monitored, with a small spot fire in the morning temporarily worrying crews.
On the same day as the Marcollat fire, crews from Naracoorte were also called out to a blaze at Langkoop on the Victorian border.
All Naracoorte group brigades attended except for Cadgee and Lochaber who were at Marcollat.
Six appliances as well as a command vehicle were on hand from SA while the Victorian CFA also had numerous appliances on hand from as far away as Ararat.
Naracoorte CFS captain Allan Marshall said the cause of the fire, which started on the SA side of the border, was still under investigation.
The heat of the day as well as the fire itself made conditions very difficult for firefighters.
"It was a very 'going' fire," Mr Marshall said.
About 650ha of land was burnt along with hay, fencing and stock.
On December 30 a shed fire in Needwood Dr, Naracoorte, was attended in the early afternoon.
The fire, believed to be caused by an electrical fault, burnt three sheds before sparking a small grass fire behind Wickham Flower.
Two crews from Naracoorte and one from Hynam attended the fire with Kyby brigade also mobilised as back-up.
Breathing apparatus crews were used to fight the fire, which was all cleaned up by 4pm.
Two trucks from Kybybolite and Hynam, a command vehicle from Naracoorte and a composite group of firefighters from Naracoorte group were also sent to participate in asset protection as a result of a fire south-east of Nelson, Victoria.
They were stationed at Dartmoor as part of a strike team with Wattle Range and Moutn Gambier crews awaiting the fire to come out due to a wind change.