Spooky video from inside the cockpit of an army aircraft shows the hellish conditions pilots face as they try to reach bushfire affected communities.
The footage shared by Air Vice-Marshall Joe Lervasi shows a RAAF transport plane flying through red, smoke-filled skies in near-zero visibility as it tries to land.
“Our people are highly trained and professional, but not always able to complete the mission on first try,” Air Vice-Marshal Lervasi said in a post on Twitter.
He revealed heavy smoke prevented some flights from reaching Mallacoota in Victoria and Merimbula in NSW.
A barge is on its way to Mallacoota to rescue the remaining few hundred people cut off after fires destroyed access.
About 300 people who want to leave the holiday town near the NSW border remain in the fire-ravaged town.
“We know it’s frustrating for them, we made several attempts yesterday to get Blackhawks into them but visibility was too poor and it was too dangerous,” state response controller Gavin Freeman told Nine today.
“We have got a barge on its way in there now so we will be able to get some people out. That should arrive early this morning and we will be able to get people on a boat and get them out.”
MORE ON THE FIRES:
On Sunday more than 400 people were rescued from the town by military helicopter.
Supplies such as food, water and diesel for power generators have also been delivered.
On Saturday the MV Sycamore and HMAS Choules helped about 1100 people escape the town.
Firefighters and the defence force are working to open up the roads and clear access to the community.
About 4000 people became stranded on the Mallacoota beach last week when fire suddenly cut off the town.
Communities across East Gippsland had been told to get out before fire hit, but Mallacoota was not one of them.