Australia The Victorian Government will spend $11.1 million to secure four extra aircraft for the coming bushfire season.
Two of the world’s biggest firefighting air tankers will again be added to the state’s fleet this summer, as well as an extra helicopter and support plane.
The Government said the large air tankers were critical in stopping the spread of fires at Wye River, Scotsburn and Barnawartha last summer, and dropped almost 850,000 litres of fire retardant between December 2015 and January 2016.
Emergency Services Minister James Merlino said the aircraft would bolster Victoria’s 43-strong firefighting air fleet.
“We need to ensure we have the best equipment and resources to support our hardworking firefighters and protect our community,” he said.
The helicopter, a Helitak, is more agile than the fixed-wing aircraft and can pick up water from lakes, reservoirs and the ocean.
Energy, Environment and Climate Change Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said the fleet played a crucial role in responding to fires and supporting firefighters on the ground.