Minister Welcomes Back Erickson Aircranes For Service

Minister Welcomes Back Erickson Aircranes For Service

Acting Western Australia Minister for Emergency Services Liza Harvey

Western Australia Minister for Environment Albert Jacob

Giant Water Bomber Leads Aerial Firefighting Fleet

Victor P Taffa

  • Erickson Aircrane back on duty this summer
  • 22 aircraft to play crucial firefighting role across the State

Aerial firefighting crews have been officially welcomed back to Western Australia for the 2014-15 bushfire season.

The fleet includes the Erickson Aircrane, six Bell 214B Helitacs, eight fixed wing water bombers, six air attack supervisor platforms, and one aerial intelligence helicopter.

The Erickson Aircrane has a 7,000 litre water capacity and can fill up in just 18 seconds.

 

 

Acting Emergency Services Minister Liza Harvey and Environment Minister Albert Jacob welcomed them back at Woodman Point today.

Mrs. Harvey said the joint Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) and Department of Parks and Wildlife aerial fleet would again play a critical role in protecting the community.

“The water bombing aircraft, including the huge Erickson Aircrane, have the vital task of attacking bushfires early, allowing firefighters on the ground to get closer to do their work.” Mrs. Harvey said.

“The air intelligence helicopter also plays a crucial role, providing fire mapping information, so that resources can be placed where they are most needed.”

“However, people can’t rely on having an aircraft hovering over every house during a bushfire – I urge everyone to play their part, prepare their property and have a bushfire survival plan.”

WA Minister for Environment Albert Jacob

WA Minister for Environment Albert Jacob

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Jacob said Parks and Wildlife worked closely with DFES to ensure the aircraft were based where they were most needed.

“The aircraft are strategically located in Perth, Bunbury, Busselton, Manjimup and Albany, and have already been in action this season at fires at Whiteman Park, Southern River, Nambeelup and Pinjar.”

“They will continue to be a vital component of how the Government responds to bushfires this summer.”

“However, the community must play its part too because being prepared for bushfires is a shared responsibility for all landowners.” Mr. Jacob said.

Fact File

  • The State Government is committing $12M for the 2014-15 aerial fleet plus significant operating costs, which are calculated at the end of the season. The Federal Government is contributing $2.7M
  • During WA’s winter, the aerial fleet perform other duties including firefighting operations overseas