Australia — Two new firefighting aircrane helicopters will be used in Victoria this year under the Brumby government’s first bushfire strategy.
State Environment and Climate Change Minister Gavin Jennings launched the strategy, Living With Fire, in Melbourne on Saturday.
The helicopter aircranes, named Elvis and Elsie, will bring the total number of firefighting aircraft to be used in Victoria this bushfire season to 34.
Living With Fire outlines the strategic direction for fire agencies and their partners, and takes into account climate change and increasing fire threats, Mr Jennings said.
“This strategy will enable us to focus on the future against a background of large fire events, the impacts of climate change, ongoing drought and high fuel loads,” he said.
Increased planned burning is a key part of the strategy, with the government last week committing $10 million to implement large scale burnings to prevent bushfires from taking hold.
The strategy also promotes an increased focus on community education, building and maintaining a skilled, fit and experienced firefighting force and providing the community and planners with high-quality risk management direction and advice.
“Victoria has experienced three large fire events in the past five years,” Mr Jennings said.
“Living With Fire acknowledges that putting bushfires out is only one component of fire management and does not work on its own.”