Conditions have deteriorated for 250 firefighters battling a large blaze in South Australia's Murraylands.

The fire at Rocklea near Monarto began just after midday on Tuesday and has burnt about 1500 hectares of scrub and grassland.

Firefighters' efforts are being hampered by 90 kilometre per hour winds which are whipping up dust and have caused water bombers to remain grounded.

Country Fire Service state controller Brenton Eden says forecast rain has missed the blaze and the next three hours are critical.

"Our efforts this afternoon are concentrated on the western and eastern flanks of the fire," he said.

"Some two hours ago we have a simultaneous breakout on both sides of the fire which is most unusual and it just shows that the winds on the fire ground at the moment are very, very erratic."

He says firefighters were stationed along Monarto Zoo's northern perimeter overnight as a precaution.

"It's not a high likelihood. There are a number of road crossings that we can attack this fire on before it travels towards the zoo," he said.

Geoff Brooks from the zoo says no harm has come to animals even though the area has been veiled in smoke since the fire began.

"We have sprinklers on a lot of our enclosures so we went through and we turned everything on to do what we can," he said.

"We had people come in to box up what we could move like our native animals and some of the more endangered Aussie animals."

A severe fire danger rating is currently in effect for the region and four others around the state.

More than 30 fires were brought under control across the state yesterday.

 

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