Fire chopper crashes

A 52-YEAR-OLD helicopter pilot has been left shaken but not seriously injured after the aircraft he was flying crashed during a water-bombing session at a bushfire in the state's South yesterday.

The Hobart man was flying one of four helicopters that was helping to contain the bushfire at Molesworth about 5pm when his aircraft crashed into a clearing near the fire.

He was taken to the Royal Hobart Hospital for assessment, and investigations are continuing into the cause of the crash.

In the North, fire crews fought hard to contain a 222-hectare fire at Lefroy, about 15 kilometres east of George Town.

Tasmania Fire Service incident controller John Hazzlewood said the bushfire started in the early afternoon and was burning towards Bridport Road, eventually jumping the road.

About 10 kilometres of Bridport Road was closed to motorists by 4pm due to the danger the fire presented, as well as Pipers River Road and Lefroy Road.

Around the same time, an emergency warning was issued for residents of Lefroy.

``In the early to mid-afternoon, we alerted people to activate their fire plans,'' Mr Hazzlewood said.

About 10 crews of 40 fire personnel, supported by heavy machinery, worked hard to restrain the fire, Mr Hazzlewood said.

Conditions settled in the evening for crews to contain the fire and the warning was downgraded by about 7pm.

Mr Hazzlewood said today's work would focus on ``mopping up'' and patrolling the fire.

The Molesworth fire

The Molesworth fire


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