A record fleet of 50 firefighting aircraft will hit the skies to defend lives and property across the state over the coming months.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville and Minister for Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio joined emergency services agencies to unveil the 2019-20 fleet today at Avalon Airport today, ahead of what will be a busy fire season.
The record fleet will be critical to supporting our firefighters, including the return of two Large Air Tankers and two Aircranes.
The Large Air Tankers can each carry up to 15,000 litres of water, foam or retardant and will be based at Avalon airport.
The aircranes, which will be based at Essendon and Moorabbin airports, can carry up to 7500 litres of water and are essential in supporting other aircraft positioned across the state.
The fleet also includes a mix of fire-bombing aircraft, air supervision and air intelligence-gathering aircraft, and has a surge capacity of up to 100 that can support the Victorian core fleet and be called upon when needed.
Victoria will continue to operate fire-bombing aircraft as immediate response or pre-determined dispatch in locations across the state, which enables aircraft to respond to fires at the same time as fire trucks.
The Andrews Labor Government is delivering the resources and support to protect Victoria this fire season, with all available emergency management staff and agencies ready to respond to incidents across the state.
This includes thousands of our dedicated volunteer and career firefighters from across all agencies, as well as an investment of almost $100 million in funding for training, equipment and infrastructure in the last three years.
Victorians and communities need to start preparing themselves for the fire season. Go to www.vic.gov.au/knowfire to plan and prepare.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville
“With the return of two Large Air Tankers, a record air fleet and thousands of firefighters ready to respond, Victoria is more prepared than ever for the upcoming fire season.”
“Victoria’s largest-ever firefighting fleet will provide crucial support to our hard-working crews on the ground this summer, responding immediately to major incidents right across the state.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio
“It’s vital that people across the state are prepared for the possibility of a bushfire – whether they’re at home, visiting family or friends or away on holidays.”
“All government agencies will be working together to keep Victorians safe this fire season, and the record aerial fleet will make their work even more effective.”