Aerial firefighting fleet ready to keep Victorians safe

Member News image CFA Deputy Chief Officer Garry Cook, FRV Deputy Commissioner Eddie Lacko, Emergency Management Commissioner Rick Nugent, Forest Fire Management Chief Fire Officer Chris Hardman and SES Chief Officer Operations Tim Wiebusch with fleet


Victoria’s aerial firefighting fleet of helicopters, air tankers and planes are ready to take to the skies and protect Victorians this fire season, with new additions to the fleet.


Minister for Emergency Services Jaclyn Symes and Emergency Management Commissioner Rick Nugent joined aerial crews and firefighting staff at Melbourne Avalon Airport today to unveil and inspect the fleet. 

A total of 51 firefighting aircraft makes up the fleet – more than last year’s contingent. The fleet includes a mix of firebombing aircraft, air attack supervision and airborne information gathering aircraft. 

The new addition to Victoria’s base fleet is a second Aircrane, a high-capacity Type 1 helicopter with the capacity to carry 10,000 litres of water and pick up seawater.  

Two Large Air Tankers return to Victoria, which can operate from smaller regional airports as they require less room for take-off and landing, making them more agile to move around the state as the fire risk changes. 

A Super Puma firebombing helicopter with a capacity of 2,500 litres leads the night operations program, with its ability to fight fires into the night.  

Victoria also has a surge capacity of up to 100 aircraft that can supplement the core fleet and can be called upon when needed. 

The aircraft are an important support service for the tens of thousands of dedicated emergency services workers from the CFA, Forest Fire Management Victoria, Fire Rescue Victoria, VICSES and many other agencies. 

It complements the thousands of hardworking volunteers and trucks on the ground who are ready to turn out to fires this summer, protecting their communities. 

Victorians can expect increased fire risk in central and western Victoria, along the Surf Coast and in East Gippsland. Fire safety is everyone’s responsibility and Victorians should be using this time to prepare themselves and their homes.  

For more information about how to prepare for fires and other emergencies, download the VicEmergency app or visit the VicEmergency website.

For the first time in Victoria, communities can also create a fire plan online, customised to their needs and sharable with family and friends via Fireplanner

**State Government issued media release  


  • Member News imageWith "Bubba"
  • Member News image Part of the fleet
  • Member News image With "Bubba"
  • Member News image Inside one of the aircrafts
  • Member News image Inspecting the fleet
Submitted by CFA Media