JUST as many Victorians were busying themselves preparing for the festive season, the state’s emergency services were busying themselves preparing the state for the fire season.
By Christmas, all 42 of Victoria’s firefighting aircraft were on standby at airfields across the state, in readiness for bush and grassfires.
This year’s fleet includes 13 fixed wing firebombers, which are strategically located across the state in locations such as Hamilton, Casterton, Albury, Benambra, Traralgon and Bendigo.
Alan Goodwin, Chief Fire Officer at the Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI), said the commencement of the aircraft will be a welcome Christmas gift for Victorian communities.
“Each year, DEPI and the CFA have an extensive fleet of aircraft on hand to assist our response in the event of a fire,” Mr Goodwin said.
“Though many people are familiar with the large orange helicopters we use to fight fires, they may not realise the importance of fixed wing firebombers.
“While we regularly use helicopters to protect life and property on the fringes of cities, we use aircraft such as dromaders and air tractors to strategically drop foam and retardant onto and ahead of fires.
Full story in The Spectator on Saturday, December 28, 2013.