Fires from the air - NSW Bush Fire Emergency

G’day Everyone,

Recently I was on a trip from Coffs Harbour to Brisbane via Sydney. The point of the trip, was a spotting trip, and to fly on one of Qantas’ Boeing B744 farewell flights.

An outcome of the trip, was to see the extent of the fires lining all the way up the NSW coast, from Newcastle all the way up to Brisbane; the land was on fire.

The first flight was from Coffs Harbour to Sydney, aboard QF2101, the first flight out of Coffs, on board a Dash 8-400. Here is a view of a firestorm (shown in the cloud with the orange glow, look closely, you’ll see it) down near Taree, one of the many places surrounded by bushfires.

Another picture of a the same fire, around 3 minutes (flying time) south of the one above…

So, as seen, these fires are rather large, one of them (if you want to know, it’s called Liberation Trail) has a perimeter that is around the same length as Sydney to Alice Springs, which is pretty much halfway across Australia.

The next photos were taken on aboard QF524, a Boeing 747-400ER, from Sydney to Brisbane.

The picture below shows the beginning of the smoke haze, which begins at Newcastle, and doesn’t stop until north of Brisbane.

Another shot of the fire that was pictured above, it’s clearer and really shows how close these fires have gotten to the towns that were affected. The particular town pictured, Taree, wasn’t damaged in the fire, but surrounding areas were.

The trip was a real eye opener, showing the devastating extent of the fires that are burning, thankfully, most of these when pictured, are now Advice level fires, which had been Emergency Warning, or Watch and Act.

The firefighters and army have done an absolutely amazing job, protecting homes and towns that were in the line of the fire, minimal damage occurred during the height of the fire emergency.

Let me know what you think, and your thoughts on the fire emergency below!

Best Regards and Happy Flying,
-Adam S


Well… dang. I was thinking about going to Sydney next week for Thanksgiving break, but I might stick with Auckland 👀


Great photos, it has been quite smoky here in Sydney. It is amazing how large some of those fires are and it really shows how much work the firefighters are doing to stop the fires.

I hope Coffs is all okay.


Well, the conditions are improving, so I wouldn’t rule out Sydney just yet…

Absolutely, Coffs has been alright for the most part, mainly just really bad smoke and visibility has affected us. Especially in the week after I came back from Brisbane. Haven’t seen the sun since then…

1 Like

Happy that the conditions are improving, I heard some people were left homeless and it’s incredible how big some fires have been. Brisbane has been getting some smoke too although I don’t see it so much now but a few days back it was quite a lot. Hopefully all the fires will be put out soon. Huge respect for all the firefighters risking their lives!!

1 Like

Currently on the gold coast, the smoke here as been terrible. I don’t even have asthma but my throat is absolutely dying.

1 Like

100% agree. The smoke has definitely improved to a certain degree.

Yeah, Coffs has had it’s good days, and its bad ones. Last week was definitely a bad one.

1 Like

Yeah, it has improved here as well but sunday you could smell it real strong in the morning.

1 Like

We’re getting the smoke now in NZ because of the winds pushing it over here.

1 Like

Yeah, heard about that… sorry not sorry.

1 Like

We sent a helicopter down to Australia we may send one more.

We’ve got quite a few different American registered Helicopters down here at the moment. We even have one of the Air Tanker 10’s!

The smoke doesn’t actually start at Newcastle anymore. Sydney was full of smoke yesterday because of a 145,000ha fire still burning out of control northwest of Sydney in the Blue Mountains. It’s interesting to see the extent of the smoke from above. This is what the smoke looked like from above during that week of horrible conditions:

Doesn’t look so good. ☹️ Hope it gets better.

1 Like

Yes, while it may have been a while since I last posted the original thread, I wanted to give a quick update on the current fire situation.

The fires pictured above have been, for the most part, extinguished. These fires are being monitored for the next 3 months in case of any flare-ups, which happened last week. While these fires have been mostly extinguished and monitored, there are many other fires in many other states that have flared up in recent weeks. The Cudlee Creek and Kangaroo Island fires in South Australia and the Gospers Mountain and Wattle Creek fires in New South Wales, as well as many more.

We currently have 2 helicopters and 2 aircraft sent in from the United States, as well as 1 from Canada. We also have the New Zealand army helping us out.

On a slightly rougher note,

Two firefighting volunteers have sadly lost their lives after a tree had fallen in the path of the truck, causing it to roll over. These are the first two firefighters to have died this fire season, doing their job and saving hundreds of lives in the process.

There have been over 300 houses and/or properties that have been burnt down and destroyed, with at least 10 deaths in total.

So, to all my fellow Australian friends, stay safe, and don’t do anything stupid.

Best Regards,


This topic was automatically closed 90 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.