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Air fleet ready to help protect the Wimmera
Victoria's firefighting aircraft fleet is getting ready for the 2016-17 fire season with planes and helicopters now being sent to regional bases across the state.
Late last week (24 November 2016) two firebombing aircraft started at Nhill in the Wimmera to support our firefighters and farming communities during the harvest.
Aircraft are now positioned in Nhill, Ouyen and Sea Lake, which is the first time CFA has had aircraft positioned in these locations.
District 17 Operations Manager Dale Russell said rapid response in the early stages helps to keep small fires small.
“This summer, we are expanding predetermined dispatch. This means for the 2016-17 season Victoria will have 27 aircraft at 19 locations on immediate response,” he said.
“The seasonal outlook for Victoria predicts an above average fire season for Victoria this summer. Recent rainfall is likely to result in extensive grass growth while late spring drying has the potential to escalate bushfire behaviour in forested areas in January and February.
“Although expanding aircraft capabilities are a great thing for Victoria, it is important for farmers to remember that safety starts on the ground.
“Extinguishers with the required nine-litre capacity should be fitted to every tractor or self-propelled header, and harvesters and other large machinery should also be equipped with a shovel.
“If you haven’t done it already, now is also a good time to check that your firefighting equipment is on hand and is in good working order.”
Victoria’s specialised aircraft fleet is strategically positioned across the state so it is available for a range of different types of fires and terrain to provide the best support possible to our fire-fighters.
Victoria's aircraft fleet is jointly funded by the Commonwealth and State Governments, with the Commonwealth supporting operation of the air-cranes and Sikorsky helicopters as part of a national fleet.