Coulson Group pilot Jonas Doherty closes the door on the Boeing 737 Fireliner he’s captaining and prepares to take off for another dangerous fire fighting flight as Australia is burning.“It’s been extremely challenging,” the air tanker captain says.
“The fire behaviour we’re seeing is totally unprecedented.”Raging bush fires have scorched more than 10 million hectares, destroying thousands of buildings and killing dozens of people and more than half a billion animals. Doherty’s been fighting wildfires for 15 years.
He’s been in New South Wales since August and says this unimaginable disaster is the worst he’s ever seen.“It’s total devastation,” Doherty says. “You can see houses burning and there’s an eerie sense to it when the dark smoke is creating a dark shadow and it feels like it’s late evening even though it’s the middle of the day.”
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