The NSW Government will boost the state’s bush firefighting artillery by trialling the use of Large Air Tankers for the first time in NSW, NSW Premier Mike Baird and Minister for Police and Emergency Services Stuart Ayres announced today.
“NSW has had its fair share of horrific bush fires in recent years - we are determined to equip our rural fire fighters with the tools they need to better protect our communities in times of crisis,” Mr Baird said.
“A Large Air Tanker can hold between 15,000 litres and 40,000 litres of water or fire retardant at a time, making it an invaluable new resource in fighting fast-moving and dangerous bush fires. The NSW Government will bring one of these aircraft to NSW in time for next fire season.”
In addition, the NSW Government will:
- Commit to additional hazard reduction activities;
- Provide NSW with an enhanced fire trail network;
- Invest in four regionally-based fire fighting training centres; and
- Provide the public with important bush fire information in their locality through an online portal, building on the success of the ‘Fires Near Me’ app.
“We will ensure our rural firefighters are equipped, hazard reduction is undertaken and the community is kept informed,” Mr Ayres said.
“Today we commit to the protection of almost 600,000 homes over the next four years through hazard reduction works and almost 750,000 hectares of hazard reduction activities.”
The RFS will be given the powers it needs to establish a functional fire trail network to better facilitate hazard reduction activities and assist in fighting fires by allowing more timely access to live bush fires.
Fire fighting training centres will be located in the Central West, Southern and Northern regions and an additional centre will cater for the bush fire demands of Western Sydney, making it more convenient for volunteers in obtaining or maintaining their accreditation.