A THIRSTY koala caught up in a bushfire sweeping through South Australia has been rescued by local residents.
The singed koala was discovered in a burnt out tree in Port Lincoln, where fire has destroyed more than 1800ha, at least one home, 12 cabins, one caravan, a campervan, several sheds and four cars.
- READ MORE: Worst fire season in years: CFS
Local resident Clint Woods found the thirsty marsupial and gave him a drink before the koala was taken to a nearby animal shelter.
"I just tried to give him a drink of water, he had a bit of drink of water but he's not looking too well really," Mr Woods said.
Footage of the koala drinking from Mr Woods' water bottle is likely to draw comparisons to Sam the Koala, who was rescued during the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires that swept through Victoria, killing 173 people.
The image of CFA volunteer David Tree giving Sam a drink from his water bottle in the middle of burnt-out bush in Mirboo North was beamed around the world.
South Australia's Country Fire Service state co-ordinator Malim Watts said the fires on Eyre Peninsula should serve as a "big wake-up call".
"This is one of the busiest starts we have had to the fire season in many years," Mr Watts said.
"It's a very big wake-up call for a lot of people. Summer has come with a vengeance."
Read more on the Herald Sun.