Australia — EXTRA firefighters are being recruited for bushfire hotspots including Anglesea, Lorne, Forrest and Gellibrand as Victoria prepares for its second fire season since Black Saturday.
The State Government has started recruiting an extra 123 permanent firefighters as above average spring rains are expected to add to fuel levels in the Otways and other areas of bushland.
The Government has also announced an Eriksson Aircrane will be based at Ballarat to help fight bushfires in the Otways, alongside a Sikorsky S61 helicopter based at Colac Airport.
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Two large fire-bombing planes covering the whole of the state will also be trialled this fire season.
Environment Minister Gavin Jennings said the recruitment of more permanent firefighters was part of the Government’s response to recommendations made by the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission.
“We are committed to providing more support for volunteers, more firefighers for the CFA, MFB and DSE, and additional new equipment as part of the overall $867 million package to reform the firefighting effort announced in August,” he said.
“The Essendon aircrane will be available to cover all of Victoria, while the Latrobe Valley aircrane will cover the Gippsland areas but also be able to fly west to Melbourne’s outer east.
“The Ballarat Aircrane will be close to many high-risk communities and can be readily deployed to the Otways to support the Sikorsky S61 helicopter that will be based at Colac Airport.”
Applicants for the new positions are encouraged to submit applications online at dse.vic.gov.au/fires by November 14.