More aircraft than previous fire season

More Power: A Coulson tanker 131.

THE Victorian Government has announced more than $7.15 million in additional funding to bolster Victoria’s aerial firefighting fleet and increase the number of aircraft for the upcoming fire season.

Minister for Bushfire Response Kim Wells said this fire season 46 specialist aircraft will help to support firefighters on the ground, which is four extra aircraft than the previous fire season.

“With early forecasts indicating the state will face another significant fire season it is absolutely crucial that our fire agencies are well-resourced with specialist firefighting equipment to ensure Victoria is fire ready,” Mr Wells said.

“These aircraft will ensure there will be a stronger and quicker initial attack to fires this summer and mean local communities will be better protected.”

The additional funding has ensured:

$6.56 million for two large fixed wing air tankers to be based at Avalon airport, with a carrying capacity of approximately 12,000 and 17,000 litres of foam or retardant;

a fixed wing aircraft with an on-board air attack supervisor to support the large air tankers; and

$588,000 for a firebombing helicopter which can carry approximately 1600 litres of water, to be based in the Latrobe Valley.

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