The Queensland government have pledged to position a UH-60 Black Hawk in Bundaberg in Northern Queensland in Australia as part of an effort to protect residents and national parks in the area.
Mark Ryan, the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Minister stated that the helicopter enhance the capacity of the Bundaberg aerial firefighting base that is already the location of the Conair Q400-AT Large Air Tanker.
The Black Hawk contracted for the season is believed to belong to South Australia based Aerotech and comes fitted with a Helitak FT4500 external tank, capable of carrying 4500 liters per drop in the retractable slimline tank designed to keep the passenger cabin of the Black Hawk as usable space for troop and equipment transportation.
“Queensland Fire and Emergency Services’ aerial firefighting fleet has been enhanced in anticipation of increased fire activity this season following three years of wet conditions,” Mr Ryan said.
“The overall fleet has been boosted by an additional three aircraft, including an intelligence-gathering aircraft and two fixed-wing water bombing aircraft,” he said.
“Queenslanders are no stranger to the dangers of bushfires and with hot, dry conditions expected to return this season, it’s important to ensure our firefighters have all the tools they need to keep communities safe,” he said.
“This is a significant boost to the capacity of Queensland’s aerial firefighting operations.
The UH-60 was already hard at work as of yesterday, fighting a fire near Bargara, north of Bundaberg in Queensland.