Footage has emerged of the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison telling locals of Kangaroo Island that it was fortunate nobody had died in the blaze that ravaged the land and killed two.
KI residents immediately corrected the Prime Minister that two people had been caught in the blaze and died.
This was followed by his assertion he was "thinking about firefighters firstly."
Mr Morrison visited KI yesterday, amid on-going fire threats that have scorched vast areas of the land, including a majority of Flinders Chase National Park.
Kangaroo Island have also lost half of their koala population, reducing their numbers to 25,000.
The media footage captured a candid and quiet conversation Mr Morrison was having with local residents, during which he contended that "thankfully we've had no loss of life."
Immediately a local chimed in, "Two. We've lost two."
Instead of apologising for the mistake, Mr Morrison doubled down, "Two. Yes, two, that's quite right. I was thinking about firefighters firstly."
VIDEO: pic.twitter.com/nQEIyFzMP7— Oliver Pocock 🔥 (@OliverJPocock) 8 January 2020
Pilot Dick Lang, 78, and his son, Adelaide surgeon Clayton Lang, 43, died in the Kangaroo Island bushfires last week after spending two days fighting the flames.
Mr Morrison then started spruiking the island as a viable holiday destination that is ready to be visited right now, despite both SAPOL and CFS urging locals and tourists to reconsider travelling to KI while the significant threat of fire remains and multiple road closures have been put in place.
Following advice from SAPOL and CFS, please avoid areas where a significant threat remains across the fire ground, as Emergency Services cannot guarantee your safety.
A Total Fire Ban is in effect on Kangaroo Island today, and residents in the town of Vivonne Bay were evacuated last night for rising fears that the fires – still burning on the island – could jump containment lines today.
Temperatures on the island are predicted to be up to 40 degrees, and the entire island is under severe fire warning conditions.
For more information, please see our local news article about revising your travel to Kangaroo Island.