More than 30 firefighters battling a bush fire in the Northern Territory have been killed after a bushfires-related incident in the region’s remote north-west.
Key points:The bushfires broke out on the Northern Rivers region on Sunday nightThe fire is burning on a hillside near the village of Chisam, in the remote northern region”At the time of writing we are still waiting for an official investigation into what happened,” NT Forestry (NTF) spokesman James Rainsford said on Monday.
The NTF has set up a firefighting team of 15 to help battle the bushfire.
It is understood the team consisted of eight fire fighters and a medical support officer.
Firefighters were called to a fire near Chisom, about 40 kilometres north-east of Darwin, at approximately 9.30pm local time (15:30 GMT) on Sunday.
“The incident involved a hilltop that was heavily forested,” NTF fire service spokesman James Robins said.
“It had a fire fighting equipment and a helicopter, so it was a very dangerous area.”
“There was a fire that was burning in the area, so that was a factor in the incident.”
Firefighters from the NTF, the NT Police, the fire service and the Australian Border Force (ABF) were at the scene on Monday afternoon.
Mr Rainsf said there was a helicopter at the site and the firefighting helicopter was being sent to assist.
“At this stage it is unclear if the helicopter has been used by the NT Fire Service or not,” he said.
Mr Robins also said the fire was not the result of lightning or the weather.
“There were no significant conditions during the time the fire started that would indicate it was lightning or weather related,” he told the ABC.
“However, the helicopter had been there for some time, and it had a water hose in it.”
He said the NT Government had sent two water hoses to help contain the fire.
“We will be monitoring the fire for a time period, but it has been a relatively short period of time,” he added.
Mr Robinson said the incident involved several bushfires.
“This is one of the most remote fire regions in Australia and it has never happened in the past,” he explained.
“If there are no additional fires, we expect there to be no additional casualties.”
Unfortunately, the weather conditions are very challenging, but we are doing everything we can to help.
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