Deniliquin pilot Gary Coote is in Tasmania using a firebomber to help battle the fierce blaze threatening the state.ZOE MCMAUGH January 8, 2013 6:34am
0Gary Coote pictured dousing a fire at Richmond, Tasmania. Photo courtesy Hobart Mercury and independent photographer Richard Jupe.
Deniliquin’s Gary Coote was sent to Tasmania with a six-wing fire bomber as a precaution on Wednesday morning, and by that afternoon he was put to work.
When Mr Coote was deployed to Tasmania it was to ensure the fire bomber, which is housed at Deniliquin airport by Field Air, was on hand in the event a fire broke out.
Paul Thomas from Field Air said it wasn’t long before the plane was needed.
He said Mr Coote has been working gruelling hours ever since.
‘‘He has been flying 12 hours a day since he got there, doing an average of 20 loads of foam a day,’’ Mr Thomas said.
‘‘It’s the only six-wing over there but there are some helicopters as well.
‘‘Gary says it’s the worst flying conditions he has ever flown in, with the winds and everything.’’
Mr Coote is based out of Cambridge, 18km from Hobart.
Fires have been burning in the Richmond, Sorell and Port Arthur regions for a number of days.
More than 100 homes have already been lost in the devastated region with an estimated 40 per cent of the houses at Dunalley destroyed by fire on Friday night. At least 1000 people were evacuated from their homes.
Compared to local conditions, temperatures have not been as high in Tasmania in the past week.
On the day the fires broke out, the weather information collected by the Bureau of Meteorology at Dunalley showed the maximum was only 20.4°C and on the following day it peaked at 34.4°C.
Wind speeds have been strong however, only dropping below 60km/h on Sunday, which was the first time since Wednesday.
On Saturday, the wind speeds reached a maximum of 81km/h, fuelling the fires burning across the state.
On his first day in Tasmania, Mr Coote was fighting fires in the Richmond area.
Mr Thomas said since then Mr Coote had been ‘‘all over’’, including Dunalley.
The local pilot will not return from Tasmania until this weekend, when he is legally required to take a break from the efforts.
Mr Thomas has not ruled out having to send another pilot to Tasmania to assist.
Two young boys flown to Melbourne on Wednesday night are still in critical and serious conditions after a Shepparton house fire.
Moira Shire's rate notices will be reissued, and will increase, after a calculation error resulted in an estimated shortfall of more than $500,000.
Murchison and Tatura SES units were two of 26 Victoria State Emergency Service volunteer units to receive an allocation of new equipment this week as part of the annual AAMI equipment handover program.
Stephen Arthur has been reappointed as the Bloods' senior coach for season 2015
Leading Senior Constable Chris Goyne has joined the team at the Rochester police station.
Kyabram's Nick Holman set to make senior AFL debut.
Fundraising for prostate cancer would seem to be a natural fit for the Australian Defence Force.
Jerilderie Shire deputy mayor Ruth McRae handed the key over for the new Rural Fire Service station last Friday.
Aommunity fair and truck show will be hosted by Heathcote Primary School next month.
Statewide roads and public transport study calls for increased governemnt funding, sparks memories of Cobram passenger rail service.
A win against Moama tomorrow is the only possible option for the Rams to play finals in 2014.
A $100 million investment program will recommence following parent company Coca-Cola Amatil's decision today to invest $78 million into SPC Ardmona.
Jack Frawley remembered for his service with the 4th light horse bridge at Lone Pine, Gallipoli and the charge of Beersheba, Palestine.
- Benalla Health signs on as a White Ribbon supporter of the campaign against domestic violence
- A magnificent 98 years for Benalla arts identity
- Benalla unveils its refurbished old shire offices which are now the Civic Centre
- Support Light the Night in Benalla next month
- Poppy Smith celebrates her second birthday, having survived a heart defect.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.