Thursday, January 02, 2014

Ground crews and helos working wildfires in Australia

Over the almost five years that I have been writing about aerial wildland firefighting on this blog, I have often said that tankers and helos who fly wildfires do so to support the wildland firefighters on the ground. As I write this it is summer down under in Australia and fire season. The two videos that I am embedding here are of wildfire activity in Australia. Both videos, by ApexImagery, show firefighters on the ground and in the air, I'll get to that in a moment. According to the description on the first video (Toolleen Grass Fire), the footage is of a wildfire in Victoria, Australia. I believe but am not certain that the second video (Sedgwick Fire) is of wildfire footage in Victoria, Australia. 

You will see helos working fires in both videos. In the first video (below) you will see footage of a grass fire near Toolleen in Victoria Australia. At about 28 seconds and then again at about 1 minute 47 seconds you will footage of a helo dropping water from their belly tank near were an engine crew is working the grass fire with their hoses. 

In the second video (allow just under six minutes) you will see some footage of the wildland firefighters on the ground including shots of guys talking on radio and another shot of what looks like a hand drawn map of the fire. Point being that I know enough to know that there is a lot of radio communications going on between various wildland firefighters on the ground and also with those crews providing aerial support. So, as you watch these sections on the video, think about the importance of radio communications in all aspects of any kind of firefighting.  

In addition, you will some nice footage of an Erickson Air Crane working the fire, including a couple of shots of what could be the 'Crane filling her belly tank. In these shots (1:55 and 2:49), it looks like the 'Crane is disappearing behind some trees, but I think that she may be filling her belly tank from a water body. At about 4:16 you will the 'Crane dropping on the fire.

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