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Aircranes keep flying in Victoria
Victoria will again be well protected this summer by a fleet of 41 firefighting aircriaft, including 2 Erickson Aircranes, likely to be based at Melbourne and Ballarat.
While Elvis' owners have not made the iconic aircraft available to Australia this year, a similar version of the distinctive orange helicopters will still be present in the skies above Victoria.
Fire Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley said while Elvis would be missed, the states aerial firefighting capability would be as strong as ever.
“Victoria will have a fleet of 41 aircraft for the 2013/14 fire season, the same aerial firefighting coverage as last year, enhancing the ground operations and providing the greatest level of support to local communities,” Mr Lapsley said.
“Victorian firefighting icon Elvis” was not offered to Australia this year but of the 41 aircraft we do have, 24 are helicopters and of those helicopters, two are still Erickson Aircranes that can carry 7500 litres of water or foam and two are Sikorsky helicopters that can carry 3500 litres.
“There is no impact on Victoria’s aerial firefighting capacity - Victoria will be well covered and well supported by our state’s airfleet, as it was last year.”