Aircraft at Lincoln airport for fire season
Two fire bombers and a surveillance aircraft are based at Port Lincoln Airport from this week to support the work of Country Fire Service (CFS) ground crews over the Fire Danger Season.
CFS State Aviation Operations Manager David Pearce said that as in previous seasons, the aircraft would be on active standby in the Lower Eyre Peninsula on high fire danger days.
"They can be airborne within five minutes and are dispatched at the same time as ground crews," he said.
"Our strategy is based on rapid initial dispatch and attack to support ground crews in the early suppression of bushfires.
Mr Pearce emphasised that aircraft alone did not put out bushfires.
"Aircraft are a limited resource and people living in bushfire prone areas should not rely on the availability of them at every bushfire," Mr Pearce said.
"They should be prepared and ensure they have a Bushfire Survival Plan and practice it."
Lower Eyre Peninsula is one of three zones designated for automatic response by CFS aircraft, based on potential bushfire impact. The other zones are the Mount Lofty Ranges and the Lower South East.
The aircraft based in Port Lincoln have been contracted by CFS for exclusive use and will complement 15 other aircraft used by the service, including an Erickson Aircrane.
The two fire bombers can each carry more than 3000 litres of fire suppressant and the surveillance aircraft is a single engine Cessna 182.
One of the fire bombers has been re-painted in the new high-visibility colours of red and white, so that it is easily recognized as a dedicated fire bombing aircraft.
Mr Pearce said it was planned that all firebombers used by the CFS would be re-painted in red and white over the next few years.