The aircraft will be used throughout the bushfire season by Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic), Country Fire Authority (CFA) and Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) to respond to fires.

FFMVic Deputy Chief Fire Officer Aaron Kennedy said aircraft play a critical role when responding to fires.

"On high fire danger days, as soon as the call goes out to respond, firebombing aircraft will be dispatched so we can hit the fire hard and fast in the initial stages and keep fires small," Mr Kennedy said.

“North east Victoria is one of the most fire prone areas in the world and this impressive aircraft fleet will work together to deliver an effective fire suppression operation.”

CFA Acting Assistant Chief Fire Officer Hume Region Colin Brown said the aircraft will support on ground firefighters to contain fires both on private property and public land.

“Dispatching the aircraft with ground crews, fire trucks and bulldozers increases our ability to rapidly contain or limit the size and spread of fires,” Mr Brown said.

“The flow-on effect of this is a reduced impact on local communities and the environment. It also reduces the length of time firefighters are required to work in an extremely hazardous environment.”

Aircraft are strategically placed across the state and can be moved quickly to respond to fires which threaten life and property.

The firefighting aircraft based from Albury Airport are:

  • Bomber 360 Air Tractor AT802 Fireboss - A fixed wing firebombing aircraft it has a capacity of 3200 litres and can drop water, foam or fire retardant. This aircraft is also fitted with floats and can scoop water “on the run” from large water bodies like Hume weir. It can travel at speeds of ~350km/h.
  • Birddog 375 - A single turbine fixed wing high wing aircraft used for fire spotting, air attack supervision, reconnaissance, and firefighter transport. It can carry up to nine passengers and reach speeds of ~300km/h.

Article courtesy of Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning.