US chopper to boost WA bushfire capability

US chopper to boost WA bushfire capability

17 December 2008

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Australia — The Minister for Emergency Services, Rob Johnson, says the state’s firefighting capabilities will be boosted this year by the Fire King Helicopter.

The aircraft, which put on a demonstration of its abilities on the Swan River this morning, can carry 4,000 litres of water.

Mr Johnson says the State Government has agreed to lease the chopper for the next three fire seasons, along with its American crew.

“I think this is one of the best,” he said.

“Without this, I think we would probably struggle if we have a very serious fire season.”

Mr Johnson says an aerial fleet of the Fire King, four helitacs, an air intelligence helicopter and eight fixed-wing water bombers will help protect the state from bushfires this summer.

“The Fire King proved its worth last year during the Parkerville and Spectacles bushfires, where it worked with the helitacs to protect fire crews and homes,” he said.

“They save ten homes from being destroyed and protected a further 47 from damage.”

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