Australia — The Western Australian Fire and Emergency Services Authority says its new Fire King helicopter has had a significant impact on its firefighting efforts this season.
The helicopter, which is being leased on a trial basis from the United States, can carry 4000 litres of water and has also been used as a transport vehicle for firefighters.
A decision on whether to retain the Fire King will be made at the end of the fire season next month.
FESA’s Acting Manager of Air Operations Adam Bannister says it has been a busy season with a number of significant bushfires around the state.
“The start of the fire season, December, January, was one of the busiest we’ve encountered, and in saying that, that’s not suggesting numbers of fires, that’s just hours flown by helicopters,” he said.