The Chronicle

Bombers prep for bushfires

- MICHAEL NOLAN

THE cavalry has arrived.

Two AirTractor AT-802 Fixed Wing Bombers, two Bell 214B Rotary Wing Helitak bombers and two surveillan­ce aircraft arrived at the Toowoomba Airport on Wednesday, ready for the start of the 2021 bushfire season.

They will provide a vital boost to firefighti­ng resources in the Darling Downs and Southwest Queensland.

Rural Fire Service acting area director Michael Welsh said his crews were expecting lots of fast-moving grassfires as the 2021 season progressed.

“We have a lot of fuel out there, and it is drying off quickly – they will be high impact fires,” he said.

Landholder­s have been asked to clean up their properties, remove excess timber, branches, grass and revisit their bushfire safety plan.

“We are seeing a few little grass fires pop up in the past week, and we have increased our bushfire alert level for the western areas,” Mr Welsh said.

Grass fires have the potential to cover a lot of ground in a matter of minutes, threatenin­g homes and livelihood­s.

“This is why people need to phone Triple-0 at the first sign of fire,” Mr Welsh said.

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