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VIC resources at the ready to help fight fires in NSW

12 February 2017

Victoria has sent 14 firebombing aircraft including the Two Large Air Tankers to New South Wales to provide support as parts of the state experience Code Red / Catastrophic bushfire conditions today.

Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley said New South Wales was preparing for a busy day with Code Red / Catastrophic conditions expected – the highest in the national Fire Danger Rating system.

“New South Wales has had significant lightening move through yesterday afternoon so the potential for fires today is huge,’’ he said.

“To help them, we have moved our two Large Air Tankers (LATs) from Avalon into New South Wales where they are based at Dubbo and Richmond Airport, he said.

“The LAT based at Dubbo has already been deployed to fight fires on Saturday afternoon.

“We have also positioned another 12 additional firebombing aircraft up to the Victorian / New South Wales border today with the fleet operating out of Albury, Deniliquin and Echuca.’’

Mr Lapsley said it was really important that Victoria could share its resources and have them positioned on the border, ready to operate from 9am today.

“New South Wales Rural Fire Service, Fire rescue NSW and National Parks are well-set up and attuned in how to manage major fire and we will support them through their structures,’’ he said.

“We haven’t sent any fire crews or Incident Management Teams and we won’t until New South Wales request that and that will be based on their triggers of major fire operations.

“We have been in constant discussion with New South Wales and will make sure Victoria gives everything it needs to at the right time and that’s potentially late Sunday and into Monday, if at all.

“The conditions in Victoria are mild so we are able to share our resources with New South Wales and provide assistance where needed. We’ve done this before and we’ll do it again. This is how we do business and work as one.’’