Mount Lofty Ranges primary aerial firefighting base begins relocation
Primary aviation contractor for the SA Country Fire Service (CFS)- Aerotech First Response, has begun relocating from Woodside to a new facility near Brukunga.
The new base location will provide improved and safer aerial firefighting operations.
SA Country Fire Service Manager of State Aviation Operations Commander, David Pearce, said the new location is five kilometres south east of Woodside and will provide a more efficient operation ready for the 2016/17 fire danger season.
"As the aviation fleet has grown, both in size and number, Aerotech recognised an opportunity at Brukunga for a larger airbase with enhanced safety and capability - they pursued the relocation with the support of the CFS," Mr Pearce said.
"Despite Woodside airbase meeting CFS aviation requirements in the past, as we continue to improve our capability and response to fire threat, a new larger and better equipped airbase was a logical step to make."
Mr Pearce said the new location will ultimately increase safety for the community with greater ability for
aircraft to be airborne in adverse conditions.
"The Brukunga airbase will allow for quicker turnaround of firebombing aircraft when they are fighting a fire. There will also be room for more aircraft which is vital during an operation and there is also provision for more water to be stored at the new airbase.
"We have 41 airbases located across South Australia, and at different times each will play a vital role in the protection of the community when faced with the threat of bushfire.
"It is important to acknowledge the excellent support provided to the CFS and Hills communities over many years by Mr Trevor Kerber and his family who have leased the airstrip at Woodside to aerial firefighting contractors supporting CFS for the past 30 years."