3 February 2019
Victoria has two orange Aircranes available as part of the 49-strong core fleet for fire operations across the state for the summer season.
Lucille replaces Christine who went down in a reservoir last month and comes to Victoria from NSW, joining Delilah for the summer.
Lucille and Delilah are part of Victoria’s 49 core fleet of aircraft for the summer season, which includes a mix of water bombing, air supervision and aerial intelligence gathering aircraft.
The fleet also includes the Large Air Tankers, Hercules and Boomer, which have responded to a number of fires in December and January including Rosedale, Walhalla, Blackwood, Timbarra, Tubbut, Connewarre and the Thomson Catchment Complex fires.
Victoria also has a surge capacity fleet that can supplement the core 49 aircraft. This list has up to 100 aircraft that can be called when needed.
With today’s elevated fire danger, Victoria has 69 aircraft strategically placed across the state.
Victoria operates water bombing aircraft as immediate response or pre-determined dispatch in locations across the state. This enables water bombing aircraft to respond to fires at the same time as fire trucks and is well established and proven across the state.
Immediate response aircraft, both fixed wing and medium helicopters have proven to be extremely effective with keeping small fires, small.
Since the start of summer firefighters have responded to almost 2000 grass, scrub and bushfires. Over December and January aircraft have been dispatched 1107 times, including the Large Air Tankers, which have been dispatched 38 times (33 in January alone).
Aircraft including the Large Air Tankers have also operated interstate in Tasmania, South Australia and New South Wales.