A government review of a bushfire last May at Cherryville in the Adelaide Hills has recommended a stricter regime for burn-offs which happen outside the official fire danger season.

Questions remain about a Country Fire Service (CFS) decision not to send water-bomber aircraft to fight the blaze, which destroyed a house and blackened more than 600 hectares of scrub and grass.

The fire started in unusual circumstances: a burn-off on an autumn day when it was not the fire season.

South Australia's Bushfire Co-ordination Committee has found there was no justification for a total fire ban that day.

But Emergency Services Minister Michael O'Brien said it found there should be a new code of conduct for landholders burning off.

"That code was absent and as a consequence I believe we had a fire we didn't have to have," he said.

The government review did not consider a key question raised by Cherryville residents of why the CFS did not deploy water-bombers to fight the blaze despite requests from firefighters.

Family First MLC Robert Brokenshire is unimpressed.

"I understood the Government were actually going to investigate that but in this report, guess what, there's nothing," he said.

The CFS said the issue of water-bomber use was reviewed in-house and the conclusion was reached that the right call was made.

Acting CFS chief Andrew Lawson defended that decision.

"If the same conditions occurred again it is likely that we wouldn't have aircraft immediately available," he said.

Mr O'Brien promised a better capacity in future to achieve a rapid response.

"We'll be adding an additional three aircraft to the fleet which will increase our capacity to respond quickly," he said.

A parliamentary committee will now consider the Government's response.

 

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