A fire that has been burning on Australia’s Fraser Island in Queensland for over 6 weeks is gaining ground this week as aerial firefighting efforts continue on the popular holiday destination island and nature reserve.

Dense bushland and sandy soil continue to hamper both ground and air efforts to curb the growth of the fire that began in the middle of October 2020 and has continued to burn in the dense undergrowth of the island, forcing the Queensland government to restrict access to the island to only essential firefighting personnel as firefighting efforts are stepped up to fight the flames.

Aerial assets including McDermott Aviation’s Guardian 1 Bell 214ST and several SEAT aircraft have been fighting the blaze along with ground firefighting personnel numbering now in the hundreds as they fight to extinguish the flames.

A SEAT aircraft drops water on Fraser Island. Photo by Cathedrals On Fraser

The fire has now consumed 177915 acres of the island and continues to grow as the weather is set to increase wind to fan the flames in the area. Australia is now heading into the nation’s summer, which will increase fire dangers around the country as neighboring New South Wales has already issued several total fire bans for the state which is gearing up for another fire season as international aerial firefighting assets begin to arrive in the coming weeks.