Pilot escapes major injury as water-bombing helicopter crashes in dam

A helicopter crashed while collecting water to fight a bushfire near Scenic Rim in Queensland.

A helicopter crashed while collecting water to fight a bushfire near Scenic Rim in Queensland. Photo: 10 News First

A pilot has survived a terrifying ordeal after his helicopter crashed into a dam while fighting a bushfire west of Brisbane.

The helicopter was collecting water to fight a blaze when the crash happened at a private property at Tarome in the Scenic Rim before 3pm on Wednesday.

The aircraft was hovering close to the dam when it hit the surface and rolled, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services said.

The male pilot escaped the wreckage and swam ashore. He was assessed by paramedics and treated at the scene for minor injuries.

The pilot, believed to be in his 40s, was airlifted to Toowoomba Hospital for further treatment, LifeFlight said.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is investigating.

The helicopter was being used by firefighters to battle a blaze at Tregony, which has been burning for several days.

The fire is one of dozens across Queensland as warm, dry and windy conditions herald an early start to the bushfire season.

Fire crews have been working to beat back the blazes and reduce fuel loads ahead of peak fire conditions on Thursday when parts of the state are expected to swelter in temperatures 10C above average.

The hot air is moving north after bringing record temperatures and catastrophic fire conditions to southern states.

“We’ve got a number of fires that we’ve been working on the last few days,” QFES Commissioner Greg Leach said.

He said particular attention would be paid to a fire at Beerwah on the Sunshine Coast to ensure it remained under control.

“We were able to consolidate the control line last night around the Beerwah fire,” Mr Leach said.

“There was some burning of unburnt fuel within the containment line last night, so that helps to secure that line.

“But of course, anything can happen tomorrow if the wind gets up, so we’ll have lots of crews out on the fire line.”

From midnight on Wednesday, a fire ban is also in place for residents in the Barcoo Shire Council area in the state’s far west until midnight on Sunday.

The mercury in northwest Queensland is forecast to nudge 40C and the southeast can expect temperatures in the mid to high 30s, with 33C forecast for Brisbane and 36C in Ipswich.

But a cool change is set to move into the southeast overnight before making its way up the coast for a cooler weekend.

Stay informed, daily
A FREE subscription to The New Daily arrives every morning and evening.
The New Daily is a trusted source of national news and information and is provided free for all Australians. Read our editorial charter
Copyright © 2024 The New Daily.
All rights reserved.