Pilot tells inquest fire ‘unstoppable’

Pilot tells inquest fire ‘unstoppable’

24 March 2006

published by www.abc.net.au

Australia — The coronial inquest into last year’s South Australian Eyre Peninsula bushfire has heard that once the fire broke containment lines it was unstoppable.

In his third and final day giving evidence, crop dusting pilot Kevin Warren told the inquest that the weather conditions on Tuesday January 11 last year meant that it did not take much for the fire to get out of control.

He said once the fire broke loose there was nothing that could stop it, not even water bombers.

Mr Warren said that if the fire was ever going to be stopped it would have had to be done the night before, when the weather was unusually cold and there was not much wind.

Mr Warren told the inquest he had three planes available that night but was told by the Country Fire Service that they were not needed. The inquest continues.

The Eyre Peninsula fires in January 2005 claimed the lives of nine people, destroyed 93 homes and blackened 77,000 hectares of farming land.


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