Victoria Prepares For Hot And Dry Summer Fire Season

The Andrews Labor Government and the State’s fire agencies are providing more than $20 million to fund a fleet of specialist firefighting aircraft to help keep communities safe this summer.

Minister for Emergency Services Jane Garrett said 47 aircraft, including two Large Air Tankers (LATs), will be on hand to support emergency services in battling bushfires.

Ms Garrett made the announcement with Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley, who warned of a long, hot and dry fire season ahead.

The Southern Australia Seasonal Bushfire Outlook 2015-16 predicts an above normal fire season with an increased bushfire risk for Victoria.

Ms Garrett said the Large Air Tankers were some of the biggest firefighting aircraft in the world and would be critical in stopping the spread of bushfires.

Some of the aircraft also use infrared scanners to pick up hot spots in fires that cannot be seen by the naked eye.

Last summer, the Victorian aircraft fleet dropped more than a million litres of fire retardant across the state. The LATs also assisted with fires interstate and completed 81 drops across Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.

The firefighting fleet will arrive in Victoria in November unless required earlier.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Emergency Services Jane Garrett

“We’re funding these specialist aircrafts to give our firefighters the critical resources they need on the frontline this summer.”

“Victoria’s fire services do an incredible job in protecting lives and property and they deserve the best resources to help them keep our communities safe.”

“We’re bracing for a long, hot and dry summer fire season and these aircraft will help protect communities which may come under threat of bushfires.”

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