AIR SUPPORT: How Bundaberg is aiding in Fraser fire fight
DEDICATED crews on the ground and in the air continue to fight the K’gari, Fraser Island fire, with Bundaberg lending a hand.
Rural Fire Service Queensland regional manager North Coast Region Superintendent Peter Hollier said yesterday the large Air Tanker had been used nine times to aid crews fighting the fire on K’gari, Fraser Island.
He said that particular aircraft was used for a range of fire fighting purposes, from a direct attack to building and strengthening containment lines.
For the efforts on Fraser it has been the latter.
Crews have been battling the blaze on the island for six weeks now with thousands of hectares burned.
A prepare to leave warning remains current for Kingfisher Bay Resort.
Any people at the Kingfisher Bay Resort and Village have been advised to follow the directions of QFES, and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service officers.
At 7.45am today, a bushfire was travelling from Boon Boon Creek south towards the Kingfisher Bay Resort and Village.
Mr Hollier said the tanker was used in conjunction with firefighting efforts on the ground.
He said “aircrafts don’t put fires out”, rather it needs to be a multifaceted approach.
There has been a number of smaller aircrafts and helicopters also working to help fight the fire from above.
He said there was both fresh and salt water used in their waterbombing efforts, as the island’s vegetation salt tolerance demanded a varied approach.
Brackish water from the likes of a dam or lake could also be used on the island.
Yesterday Mr Hollier said there were five single engine air tankers, two medium helicopters and observation aircraft for surveillance working on the fire.
He said the logistics that go into aerial fire fighting wasn’t to be underestimated.
There is a raft of people on the ground refuelling and maintaining the waterbonmbers and others ensuring a safe and integrated use of the airport is upheld with other planes (both private and commercial).
At the Bundaberg Airport yesterday he said there were six volunteers cleaning, refuelling and undertaking regular maintenance on aircrafts.
Yesterday afternoon Queensland Fire and Emergency Services took to social media stating extensive water bombing continued to be used on the K’gari fire with more than 1 million litres of water and gel dropped since Saturday (November 28).
“Aerial operations have been effective to date in slowing the spread of the fire, but conditions remain challenging and can change rapidly,” the post read.
“A massive effort from our aerial teams, being supported by ground crews.”
When speaking about the recent state budget, Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett said the air tanker had been underuntilised.
“Disturbingly, we see the underutilisation of the $15 million firefighting air tanker,” he said.
“When you consider Fraser Island has been burning for six weeks now, there are many questions to be answered.”