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Victoria’s Large Air Tankers complete first job for the season

14 December 2017

Victoria’s two Large Air Tankers, RJ85 and C130 Hercules, were activated for their first shift as part of the 2017/18 season yesterday, helping to battle a bushfire burning at Mooralla in western Victoria.

RJ85 and C130 Hercules dropped 50,000 litres of fire retardant across four separate drops on the Mooralla fire, assisting crews on the ground who battled the fire in tough conditions including high temperatures and northerly winds.

The Large Air Tankers were among 25 aircraft dispatched to fires across Victoria yesterday and are part Victoria’s core fleet of 49 aircraft that are available to help support fire fighting efforts across the state throughout the fire season.

This year's aircraft fleet includes an additional firebombing helicopter, and includes a mix of aerial supervision, intelligence gathering aircraft as well as firebombing aircraft.

State Response Controller and Forest Fire Management Chief Fire Officer Stephanie Rotarangi said yesterday’s hot and windy weather conditions saw Country Fire Authority (CFA), Forest Fire Management Victoria and Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) crews attend more than 40 bushfire, grass and scrub fires across the state.

“Yesterday’s spike in weather conditions is a timely reminder that Victorians need to be prepared for the fire season ahead.

“Now is the best time to understand your fire risk and get prepared, not when a fire starts. Talk to your family about the fire risk where you live and about how you’ll know when to leave, where you’ll go and how you’ll get there.

“It’s important that Victorians stay informed of the conditions of their local area and never rely on just one source for emergency information,” Chief Fire Officer Stephanie Rotarangi said.

Victorians can get emergency information from a number of sources including the VicEmergency app, (External link), tuning in to ABC radio or other emergency broadcasters including commercial and community radio stations or Sky TV or by phoning the VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226 and following VicEmergency on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information on preparing for fire, visit: