Fire burns two hectares of Sea Acres National Park, Port Macquarie

Lighthouse Road was closed at Pacific Drive. Photo: Andrew Tulloch.
Lighthouse Road was closed at Pacific Drive. Photo: Andrew Tulloch.

Port Macquarie firefighters have extinguished an out-of-control bush fire in the Sea Acres National Park.

Fire and Rescue were called to the bush fire just before 2pm on Tuesday, October 2.

Lifesaving drone technology designed to keep a watchful eye over beachgoers across Port Macquarie had proved itself in other unexpected ways.

After a morning spent patrolling the skies over Lighthouse Beach, Australian Lifeguard Service (ALS) Supervisor James Turnham looked to the adjacent Miners Beach and saw smoke rising.

The lifeguards on duty who were in the process of packing up quickly conferred and raced to the scene to offer their assistance to emergency services.

Within minutes they were airborne and flying over Sea Acres National Park with their Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.

Thanks to their onboard camera designed to spot hazards in the ocean, they were able to perform a 15-minute-flight to help see if there were any people stranded on the trail paths.

The lifeguards were also able to spot the location of the fire with the intelligence used by the police and fire brigade to plan their response.

Fortunately, the fire didn’t threaten any lives or property and was brought under control by the emergency responders.

“Drone technology is rapidly evolving and it’s encouraging to know that the equipment we fly has uses far beyond the beach,” said James Turnham.

“We have a good relationship with the other emergency services in the local region and we were delighted we were able to help out,” he concluded. 

Superintendent Norm Buckley said local fire crews did well to contain the blaze which was extinguished after it burned more than two hectares of bushland.

“There were four fire trucks on the scene as well as RFS assistance and police presence in the area,” Superintendent Buckley said.

The fire was only accessible on tracks which crews navigated on foot.

The blaze was fought from the Miners Beach side.

Port Macquarie Police closed Lighthouse Beach Road at Pacific Drive for a time, due to smoke haze.

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