WA AERIAL FIREFIGHTING FLEET POISED FOR FIRE SEASON
Thursday, 22 December 2016
Western Australia’s firefighting capability has been given a significant boost with today’s launch of its full aerial firefighting fleet, including the powerful Erickson Aircrane ‘Georgia Peach’.
Minister for Justice Michael Keenan today joined Western Australian Minister for Emergency Services Joe Francis, and Western Australian Minister for Environment, Albert Jacob, in launching the fleet at Woodman Point, Coogee.
The Western Australian aerial firefighting fleet includes 10 aircraft contracted through the National Aerial Firefighting Centre (NAFC), which facilitates the sharing of aerial firefighting resources between states and territories during the fire season.
Mr Keenan said the NAFC represents a cooperative national approach to disasters, providing specialised aircraft that might otherwise be out of reach for individual jurisdictions.
“The Australian Government invests $14.8 million per year nationally to support states and territories and ensure Australians are protected by the best aerial firefighting aircraft possible,” Mr Keenan said.
“Today we welcome Georgia Peach back to Western Australia − one of the powerhouses of the aerial firefighting fleet − which is capable of carrying up to 7,500 litres of water and takes just 45 seconds to fill, using fresh or salt water.
“Georgia Peach is part of this year’s 127-strong national fleet that will work closely with firefighters on the ground to save lives and property this season.”
Mr Francis said the fleet was an invaluable tool to tackle the State’s tyranny of distance.
“These aircraft are strategically positioned across the State to quickly get to bushfires,” Mr Francis said.
“The fleet complements the tireless work done by volunteer, career and Parks and Wildlife firefighters particularly during the bushfire season.
“The fleet however, is only one tool to fight bushfires and I urge the community to play their part and be bushfire ready to help our firefighters in the sky and on the ground.”
For more information about the aerial fleet visit www.dfes.wa.gov.au