Firefighting pilot Peter McBurney says he’s had to learn to accept the risk of a firefighting disaster.
“I’m a pilot and that’s what I do,” he said.
McBurnery’s experience is typical of pilots flying firefighting missions. “
You’re going, ‘I hope I’m safe, but this is not a very safe place to be.'”
McBurnery’s experience is typical of pilots flying firefighting missions.
His squadron in the Southern Territory has been involved in numerous high-profile incidents, including the March 2018 bushfires in South Australia.
Firefighters are known for their skill, but the dangers are often even greater.
In the Northern Territory, a pilot was killed in a crash involving a tanker.
The pilot’s wife was also killed when a tanker rolled into a house.
The Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection has said the state is currently investigating more than 100 high-risk incidents, with an additional 20 high-casualty incidents under investigation.
In the South Australian bushfire zone, a fire in July 2017 killed two people.
And in September 2018, two pilots died in an incident involving a plane carrying a fire extinguisher.
Firefighters are trained to respond to high-rise fires, but it’s not always the case.
The Federal Government has pledged $6.5 million to help Australian firefighters prepare for firefighting in the bushfires.
“We’ve got to be very aware that we are not always going to have fire in the area that we’ve got in the event of a major fire,” Deputy Chief Inspector John McBurns told reporters at the end of the fire season.
He said the Government had made a number of changes to the way firefighting was done.
A pilot, pilot in distress and pilot in the zone”That is very much the case with our firefighting.
We’re a little bit more aware that, when you get into an area, you need to be mindful of how you’re doing, particularly in the high-rises where you are likely to have a high fire risk.”
In March 2018, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) published a new “firefighting” training guide, which included advice for firefighters on how to deal with high-visibility aircraft.
It also recommended the use of “breathing masks” for smoke detection, “preventative smoke suppression” for spotting flames and “fire prevention devices” for protecting crew.
ATSB said it was concerned by the high number of high-danger incidents, and was looking into how to reduce the risk.
On Friday, the ATSB said there had been at least 15 high-level fires in the country, including a crash that killed an Australian firefighting pilot.
But the report does not mention high-ranking firefighting officers or the role of the pilots themselves.
While the ATB report was released, the NT government’s Department of Safety and Emergency Services (DSES) said it had investigated six high-intensity bushfires involving the firefighting fleet.
DSES chief executive Steve Geddes said the NT Fire Service was investigating an incident in the north-eastern part of the state that killed a firefighter on April 3.
As part of that investigation, he said a fire fighting plane was destroyed.
Geddes would not comment on the specific incident.
DPS chief executive Stephen Kram said in the meantime, the department had been conducting “a number of investigations” into high-impact bushfires, including an investigation into the deaths of two firefighters in the mid-west state of New South Wales.
Earlier this month, NSW’s Chief Fire Officer Andrew Scrimgeour said NSW had launched an investigation after the deaths in South NSW.
Scrimgeor said he would not confirm whether the deaths were related to the NSW inquiry.
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