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Victorian aircraft deployed to assist New South Wales

10 February 2017

Victoria’s two LATs, Hercules and RJ, will travel to New South Wales today to provide extra assistance as our neighbours experience heatwave conditions and elevated fire risk.

The aircraft will operate in New South Wales on Saturday and Sunday.

Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley said Australia has cross-border arrangements for sharing personnel, resources and aircraft and Victoria had the resources available to support firefighting effort without compromising our ability to respond to fires at home.

“We have 53 aircraft strategically positioned across the state today and 50 tomorrow to make sure we can provide support to our on-ground crews with the aim of keeping small fires small,’’ he said.

“The weather Victoria has experienced over the last couple of days has now moved across into New South Wales where they are expecting extreme fire danger.

“We have assessed the situation, in discussion with the NSW Rural Fire Service, and can provide them with additional resources in the two LATs without compromising the safety of Victorians.’’

Mr Lapsley said two additional aircraft including a firebombing helicopter and an air attack surveillance aircraft would be based in Echuca from today to provide additional resources during the Southern 80 ski event.

“The Southern 80 attracts about 50,000 people. It’s a big event and it’s going to continue to be very hot and humid up in the north of the state,’’ he said.

“It’s important that people  stay hydrated,  avoid sun exposure, know the fire risk and make sure that all campfires are completely extinguished before you leave.

 “We want people to have fun, but use your common sense and play and stay safe.’’