News & Media

Fire services well resourced

By: CFA Media

Category: Operational Information, Vehicles / Equipment / Buildings

  5.29 PM 13 March, 2013

Location: General

Views: 2647

With milder conditions forecast for the next week, Victoria will say goodbye to the two aircranes that have been assisting firefighting operations this summer.

Fire Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley said with March’s unseasonably hot weather, contracts for a number of firefighting aircraft were extended.

Both the aircranes will finish by the end of this week and Elvis has already left Victoria.

“While the two biggest aircraft will no longer be here we still have 38 aircraft that can be used for firefighting and reconnaissance,” he said.

Victoria’s firefighting fleet still includes helicopters and fixed wing bombers which are supported by infrared and line scan aeroplanes.

There is also an additional 150 aircraft on the ‘call when needed’ register to supplement the state’s fleet.

“While there is no equivalent in size to the aircranes, the Sikorsky S61 helicopters can drop up to 3700 litres of water at a time,” Mr Lapsley said.

“Communities can be assured Victoria is well prepared for the conditions ahead of us. While the temperatures will cool for the next few days and some rain is expected, the continued run of hot dry weather means that fuels are rapidly drying out and the risk is not yet over for this season.

“This weekend rain is forecast across the Otways, Melbourne and the east of the state. However there is no significant rain forecast on the horizon, especially in the south west and north of the state where it is very dry.

“Towards the end of next week the northerly winds will return and temperatures will climb into the 30s again. Despite summer being over, records show temperatures as high as 40 degrees are still possible in March.

“People should not become complacent. There is still a risk of fires before the end of the month.”

Last Updated: 15 March 2013