Camille is back in the air again

CAMILLE the firefighting air-crane is back in action after being repaired near Attunga this week.

The huge helicopter, with a 9500-litre water holding capacity, was grounded in a paddock after suffering mechanical failure during a fire-battling flight last Sunday.

The Erickson air-crane was contracted to help Tamworth district Rural Fire Service (RFS) volunteers battle a blaze that broke out at the old Sulcor limestone mine after a lightning strike.

The fire has been the most serious blaze to spark in the district so far and Camille was called in to help when nearby properties were threatened.

During final repairs yesterday, a construction crane re-installed Camille’s rotors while a truck brought new parts.

Tamworth RFS inspector Steve Prior said the air-crane was now back in action.

It had flown to the Tamworth airport before being deployed to the state’s south, where an onslaught of fires is expected this weekend.

Mr Prior said he didn’t expect to see it back in the area this bushfire season.

“We would need a significant threat for it to be back,” he said.

Mr Prior said local RFS crews were again gearing up for a hot weekend and he reminded residents of today’s total fire ban.

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