20 December 2018
Victoria’s full night firebombing capability is ready to be deployed, with another significant milestone in Victoria’s night firebombing trial marked yesterday in Mangalore.
For the first time Australian operator Kestrel Aviation’s helicopter was double-crewed to ensure it had day and night crews available for firebombing, if it was required.
They join another certified operator, Coulson Aviation, who can also provide a night firebombing service to Victoria, with helicopters based at Ballarat.
Ballarat and Mangalore are the two locations that night firebombing helicopters will be located, however aircraft can potentially respond to any area across the state – but only in the right circumstances.
This summer the focus of the night firebombing trial is to test procedures and operations on real fires.
Night operations will be used as an extension of day operations, meaning aircraft will be able to assist ground crews on fires for longer.
Night firebombing will only occur on actual fires where it can add value to fire operations, or in circumstances where the experience can help build or improve the night firebombing capability.