Ten air­craft ready to re­spond to fires

The Cobram Courier - - NEWS -

Ten crit­i­cal fire­fight­ing air­crafts have ar­rived in north­east Vic­to­ria and will be sta­tioned at bases across the re­gion, ready to re­spond to fires in prepa­ra­tion for the peak bush­fire sea­son.

The air­craft will be used by For­est Fire Man­age­ment Vic­to­ria and the CFA to re­spond to bush­fires in the re­gion and across the state.

FFMVic as­sis­tant chief fire of­fi­cer Aaron Kennedy said the air­crafts were an es­sen­tial tool in sup­port­ing ground crews to con­tain fires be­fore they spread and im­pact com­mu­ni­ties.

‘‘As soon as a fire is re­ported, an air­craft will be de­ployed at the same time as the fire trucks, giv­ing fire­fight­ers a greater chance of lim­it­ing the size and spread in the early stages,’’ he said.

‘‘Im­me­di­ate re­sponse is one of the most ef­fec­tive ways to help stop the spread of fires and helps keep com­mu­ni­ties safe this bush­fire sea­son.

‘‘There are 49 air­crafts in the state’s base fleet, con­sist­ing of fixed wing planes, he­li­copters, air tankers and large air cranes that will be ready to re­spond to fires.’’

Mr Kennedy said north-east Vic­to­ria had never been bet­ter equipped to han­dle what was loom­ing as a dan­ger­ous fire dan­ger pe­riod due to dry con­di­tions.

‘‘This sum­mer we are fac­ing an in­creased risk of bush­fires due to the un­der­ly­ing dry­ness on both pub­lic and pri­vate land,’’ he said.

‘‘How­ever, our re­gion is well re­sourced and pre­pared to re­spond to bush­fires.

‘‘For the first time Vic­to­ria will have two night vi­sion en­abled air­craft join­ing the fleet and one of them will be based in our re­gion at Man­ga­lore, near Avenel.

‘‘Night fire­bomb­ing will be used as an ex­ten­sion of day op­er­a­tions, mean­ing air­craft will be able to as­sist ground crews on fires for longer when con­di­tions are suit­able.’’

The air­crafts are based at Be­nalla, Mans­field, Shep­par­ton, Man­ga­lore, Ovens and Al­bury, but can move to other lo­ca­tions de­pend­ing on weather and bush­fire risk.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.