Local News

Night fire bombers to return for fire season

Ballarat night firebombing trial Feb 2018 2

Night fire water bombing aircraft could return to Ballarat as preparation for the fire season gets underway. 

Announced yesterday by the state government, a record fleet of 50 aircraft will be rolled out in time for summer and the fire season.

Included in the fleet is two large air tankers that can carry up to 15,000 litres of water, two aircranes and a number of specialist night-time air craft that can conduct firebombing and intelligence operations, including supervision.

In the 2018-19 fire season firefighting aircraft were deployed nearly 2,500 times, up 11 per cent on the previous period.

There is no confirmation yet if any of the fleet will be stationed permanently in Ballarat however, with the Emergency Services Commissioner Andrew Crisp saying they will likely stick to the same measures in previous fire seasons.

Ballarat has seen the aircraft called in to help tackle fires in the last two fire seasons.

It's expected a decision around where the full fleet of 50 aircraft will be based within the next fortnight.

Image provided.