Australia — A DECISION to include a multi-million dollar aerial water bomber in Victoria’s fire fighting armoury won’t be made until later this year.
The Bushfire Co-Operative Research Centre is conducting a scientific assessment on Vicki, the DC-10 converted passenger plane from the US, which was on trial in Victoria earlier this year.
A review of the aircraft’s effectiveness in fighting Victorian bushfires will be handed to the State Government in coming months.
A Government spokesman said the findings of the Bushfire CRC’s report would be “considered ahead of the next bushfire season and in the context of the Royal Commission’s final report which is due on July 31”.
The water bomber was housed at Avalon airport as part of the $10 million trial.
More than 40,000 litres of retardant was dropped in the Enfield State Forest, southwest of Ballarat, during a March trial.
A second test was conducted at a private farm near Shelford in which the DC-10 dropped two half loads of retardant on a paddock of stubble.
Bombs away: decision makers will consider including a DC-10 plane which has been converted into a water bomber to Victoria’s fire fighting fleet.