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Arrest made as fire in Adelaide Hills burns out of control

Police have arrested a man as he allegedly sped away from a fire in the Adelaide Hills that is threatening to burn hundreds of homes.

The South Australia Country Fire Service issued the warning for multiple grass fires on Hicks Hill Road at Cherry Gardens - 25km away from the city - on Sunday afternoon. 

Police saw a white Hyundai sedan quickly driving away as they approached the scene of the fire that had just started on Piggott Range Road at 6pm on Sunday. 

Officers tried to stop the car but the man allegedly kept driving and a short pursuit began. The 60-year-old was pulled over a short time later and arrested.

It said the fire was burning under 'extreme weather conditions', with temperatures in and around Adelaide still hovering in the high 30s on Sunday evening 

The South Australia Country Fire Service issued the warning for multiple grass fires on Hicks Hill Road at Cherry Gardens - 25km away from the city - on Sunday afternoon

The RFS warned locals they may have to defend their properties or flee before it became too dangerous to drive

The man was breath tested and allegedly returned a reading of 0.145. He faces charges including causing a bushfire, drink driving and aggravated engagement in a police pursuit.

He was refused bail and will appear in Christies Beach Court on Monday. 

Police are are investigating if there are any links between that fire and others in the area.

About 70 CFS volunteers supported by 20 fire trucks and seven aircraft are battling the blaze.

The RFS warned locals they may have to defend their properties or flee before it became too dangerous to drive. 

It said the fire was burning under 'extreme weather conditions', with temperatures in and around Adelaide still hovering in the high 30s on Sunday evening. 

CFS controller Yvette Dowling said many roads were closed and driving close to the blaze would become extremely dangerous.

'If you can stay off the road, we would highly encourage that,' she told ABC radio.

Those in the warning area of Meadows, Echunga and Macclesfield in the Mount Lofty Ranges were told to take shelter and enact their bushfire survival plan.

'It is too late to leave as the roads will not be safe,' the alert said.

'Conditions are dangerous and firefighters are now unable to prevent the fire spreading.

Those in the warning area of Meadows, Echunga and Macclesfield in the Mount Lofty Ranges have been told to take shelter and enact their bushfire survival plan

Richle Porte,  Lucas Hamilton and Damien Howson during the 1st Santos Festival of Cycling in Adelaide, with smoke billowing from the distance 

'Shelter before the fire arrives as heat can kill you well before the flames reach you.'

The public should avoid the area, with multiple road closures likely due to the danger of the fire and smoke.

The fire is moving in an east to northeast direction and conditions remain unpredictable.

Another bushfire at Finniss, about 55km south of Adelaide, in the Mount Lofty Rangers briefly burned at an emergency level before being downgraded.

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