Smoky Bay tourist businesses are concerned that the closure of the town’s jetty after a fire on the weekend is warding off visitors to the holiday destination.

Key points:

  • A caravan park manager is worried that Smoky Bay businesses will suffer after a tourism drawcard caught fire
  • The jetty is popular with fishers but is closed while local authorities assess the damage
  • Caravan park patrons and staff worked together to extinguish the blaze early on Saturday morning

It is believed a box of smouldering fireworks caused damage to the structure, which has sparked a police investigation.

The jetty remains closed while the District Council of Ceduna assess the damage.

Smoky Bay Caravan Park manager Kym Cock was one of the first people on the scene on Saturday.

“One of our patrons rang the outdoor bell outside the office at about 6.30am,” he said.

“They’d already rung triple zero, so I grabbed my fire extinguisher — the biggest one I had, jumped in the car and ran down there.

“Meanwhile a patron had already started putting it out with buckets of water and I just doused what was left.”

Police are investigating the cause of the fire.(Supplied. Mark Thomas)

‘Snowball effect’

Mr Cock said his business had already suffered as a result of the fire and worried about the impact in the longer term.

“We had three cancellations from Adelaide, Gawler way yesterday — they said, ‘We’re not coming up unless we can go fishing off that jetty,'” he said.

“So it does affect you a bit.

“If they keep it closed it would have a big impact on Smoky Bay, including us, the community club, the local general store — it’s a snowball effect.

“If it’s closed for three months, we’d get a lot more [cancellations] than that, depending on how long it takes them to get it fixed.”

Mr Cock said the jetty was still structurally sound, but two inner bearers had burned through.

“It was probably just people having a bit of fun, but it didn’t quite happen the way they thought,” he said.

“They left their boxes up there, that obviously smouldered after they’d let them off on the jetty and caught this thing alight.