Australia: Victorian Emergency Management Commissioner today announced a change in the aviation firefighting strategy for the State’s largest inland city.
Craig Lapsley said by Twitter that Ballarat is “to get a faster helicopter that can respond to bushfire at the same time as trucks.”
An EMV statement said the “orange” Erickson Air-Crane located in Ballarat had “not able to immediately respond to bushfires.”
This is because the Air-Crane took more than 20 minutes to get into the air and at least 35 minutes before it could I start water bombing operations on fires close to Ballarat.
In the Summer of 2016/17 the familiar “orange” Erickson Air-Crane will be replaced with the smaller helicopters that can provide an improved initial attack with increased speed to get to the fire.
This helicopter can also respond to fires at the same time as firetrucks do and can start water bombing operations about 30 minutes faster than the Air-Crane.
The Bushfire Royal Commission recommended that aircraft be used in the initial attack and has been well practiced in other parts of the State.
The same helicopter that will be based in Ballarat already operates at locations including Bendigo, Mangalore, Shepparton, Ovens, Heyfield, Latrobe Valley, Healesville, Shepparton and Olinda.
The Type 2 fire bombing helicopter carries about 1500 litres of water and can get to fires quickly to provide early rapid attack, critical to stopping the spread of fire.
For full details, see more Here.