Hot exhaust triggers disastrous fire exhaust triggers chopper fire

HEAT from the helicopter's exhaust is believed to have caused the fire that destroyed the aircraft on landing on Tuesday afternoon.

The helicopter had been crop-dusting when the pilot landed safely just after 3.30pm on Tuesday at the junction of Davies and Austin roads 12km west of Theodore.

Theodore firefighter Donald Dale said when his fire crew arrived about 3.45pm, a large area of grass was burnt and the helicopter was still burning.

“We dampened the fire down with foam,” he said.

“The pilot of the helicopter was not in it when it caught alight and was not hurt.

“It is believed the helicopter and grass caught fire when the helicopter landed on the dry grass and the heat from its exhaust caused the grass and then the helicopter to catch fire.”

A fire crew from Moura was also deployed as backup but was not needed and was turned back.

The fire was extinguished and the area made safe about 4.30pm.

Queensland Emergency Services said the pilot had not received any injuries and had attempted to extinguish the burning helicopter before firefighters arrived.

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