Firies return from Queensland blaze

Callum HunterSouth Western Times
VideoTwenty-two WA heroes returned to Bunbury in two groups last week after almost a week fighting the catastrophic Queensland bushfires.

A group of South West firefighters returned home from Queensland last week after flying over to help contain catastrophic bushfires that have wreaked havoc for more than a week.

Twenty-two volunteer firefighters from around the region spent five days reinforcing containment lines and putting out spot fires across the scorched state.

Captain Shane Collins said despite being tired, it was a worthwhile experience as the crews learnt new techniques and worked in terrain they were unfamiliar with.

“Their use of aircraft is a bit more advanced than ours, they have the 737 and some helicopters with bambi buckets which we’ve adopted this year which should be a good advantage into this season,” he said.

“We’ve had them come here and help us so it’s certainly a good thing to repay the favour.”

The fires in Queensland are almost unprecedented in scale and ferocity, to which the WA volunteers brought spades of experience and knowledge, having battled against the recent Albany, Roleystone, Northcliffe and Waroona-Yarloop blazes.

The volunteers returned to Bunbury in two groups of 11, the first of which arrived on Wednesday afternoon with the second group arriving later that night.

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