AIR ATTACK: Choppers and aircraft refueling at the 1770 airstrip on Thursday.
AIR ATTACK: Choppers and aircraft refueling at the 1770 airstrip on Thursday. Mike Knott

Heli-attackers, water bombers roar out of 1770 airstrip

THE air is thick, hot and dry as aircraft roar in ready to refill at the 1770 airstrip before setting out to unleash another attack on out-of-control bushfires.

Six bombing aircraft and two air attack aircraft are involved in today's attack, but it's still unsure if or when there will be a reprieve for battling fire crews.

The NewsMail was on the ground at the 1770 airstrip this morning, as choppers and aircraft zoomed in for a quick stop-over to refill their tanks.

AIR ATTACK: Choppers and aircraft refueling at the 1770 airstrip on Thursday.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services air base manager Rebecca Flintham Mike Knott

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services air base manager Rebecca Flintham said the heli-attackers came in to refuel and fill up every couple of hours while the water bombers come in every ten minutes. 

Ms Flintham said it was non-stop, with pilots often seen scoffing to eat food during there brief minute or so stop on land while crews rushing to transfer new water to their aircraft.

The firefighters on the ground were clothed in their heavy duty protections suits and as the sun blazed down in the middle of the day it was hard not to feel the heat from them.

Heli-attack and water bombers refuel: AIR ATTACK: Choppers and aircraft refueling at the 1770 airstrip on Thursday.

"It's definitely hectic. They are actively bombing the fire areas," Ms Flintham said.

"We've been based here since Sunday.

"The aircraft travel down to Deepwater and Mt Larcom."

AIR ATTACK: Choppers and aircraft refueling at the 1770 airstrip on Thursday.
AIR ATTACK: Choppers and aircraft refueling at the 1770 airstrip on Thursday. Mike Knott

Although the aircraft don't seem to have a lot of space to carry a significant amount of water, Ms Flintham said you'd be surprised by the amount they could take.

"It plays a very vital role in getting in there to support the ground crew," she said.

"They assist the ground crew to help control the fire."

Heli-attack and water bombers refuel: AIR ATTACK: Choppers and aircraft refueling at the 1770 airstrip on Thursday.

She said crews had been working very hard to contain the fire.

The aircraft will continue to work until it's too dark.