Watch as retardant drop hits firefighters

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As flames roared towards houses in Sydney on Tuesday, firefighters working to save homes on the cities north-west got an unexpected surprise when welcome support arrived from above.

At the peak of the catastrophic conditions, as crews put in urgent calls for assistance while a bushfire approached homes in Turramurra, a Large Air Tanker (LAT), loaded with retardant, was on its way to another fire when it was diverted to douse the flames in Sydney.

The quick retardant drop did its job, slowing the spread of the fire towards homes, but it also ran a little longer, showering homes and the firefighters defending them in a thick layer of red retardant.

The crew from Sydney’s Mortdale Fire Station captured this footage as retardant rained down over ground crews.

Thankfully no houses were lost due to the fire and it was quickly brought under control, however, the cleanup operation to remove retardant from homes, cars and firetrucks lasted several hours.

Fortunately for the houses and cars that were hit, this stuff washes off and it’s better to have a temporarily pink house than no house at all.

Big props to the first arriving crews on this job, this fire was pretty dynamic and moving quickly in the initial phase. Shout out to the C130 LAT crew, great work on short notice – you helped save a bunch of houses!

Gives new meaning to ‘paint the town red’

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I founded Flashover to promote Australian Firefighting. I've been a volunteer and a paid firefighter but now I spend my time chasing up leads, promoting good mental health and making the occasional Grumpy Firecom comic!

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