SA Country Fire Service

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Firefighting aircraft take to the skies in training exercise

21/10/2016

The SA Country Fire Service (CFS) and contractor Aerotech will be conducting an array of aviation exercises from the Port Pirie Aerodrome next week in preparation for the upcoming fire danger season.

Training is scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, October 26 and 27 between 9.30am and 4.30pm and residents within the Port Pirie and the Wirrabara Forrest area should not be alarmed by the presence of aircraft.

CFS Manager State Aviation Operations David Pearce said the training exercises will involve five aircraft, including two single engine air tankers, two fixed wing surveillance aircraft and a helicopter, conducting up to 30 flights per day.

"CFS Air Operations personnel, including staff and volunteers, will complete the skills maintenance training program giving them practical exercises in the control and coordination of firebombing aircraft," Mr Pearce said.

"Air operations personnel will be refining their skills in the collection of intelligence for public warnings, aerial mapping of fires and ground to air tactical communication.

"This exercise will also allow crews to test aircraft reloading infrastructure at the Port Pirie Aerodrome, installed late last year with the assistance of Port Pirie Regional Council.

"If residents see aerial firefighting and surveillance aircraft operating in and around the Wirrabara Forrest areas they should not be concerned.

"As always though, if the community does need emergency assistance or does encounter an emergency situation then we advise them to call triple ZERO."


NOTE: Media are welcome to attend the airbase on Wednesday, October 26th from 1030 to 1330. Manager Aviation Operations, David Pearce will be available for comment and following there will be opportunities to collect footage or take photographs. The airbase will be closed to the media from 1330hrs.

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For media enquiries telephone the CFS Media Line on (08) 8115 3531.

Further information:
Contact the Bushfire Information Hotline on 1800 362 361, for hearing or speech impaired users, phone 1300 555 727 then ask for 1800 362 361 or teletype service TTY 133 677 then ask for 1800 362 361.
Other options are available at National Relay Service.
Or visit www.cfs.sa.gov.au

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