Managing Australia’s aerial firefighting assets

Air Tanker 162
Air Tanker 162, known as Bomber 391 in Australia, is shown with a truckload of fire retardant transported to Western Australia by the Royal Australian Air Force. (still image from the video below)

The video below, produced by the Royal Australian Air Force, provides information about how the Australian Defence Force assisted residents and fire fighting efforts in Western Australia during the recent fire seige.

Victoria firefighting aircraft
Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning Victoria welcomes 46 firefighting aircraft. (still image from the video below.)

In the next video, produced by Victoria’s Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning in December, 2014, officials welcome 46 firefighting aircraft of all shapes and sizes to the 2014/2015 bushfire season, including two large air tankers from North America.

And one last video — this one showing Tanker 131, known as Bomber 390 in Australia, landing at Avalon in Victoria.

One thought on “Managing Australia’s aerial firefighting assets”

  1. It’s probably time to consider brewing some liquid concentrate retardant in Australia as all signs are pointing towards increased use of chemical retardant over multiple years. Assuming LATs are there to stay, the forecast volumes forecast would suggest a rethink in current practices?

    The explanation of using a powdered product used to make sense when considering the costs of transporting LC vs powder from overseas. But when you’re ferrying pallets of powdered retardant on C-17s across the continent, maybe your cost structure shifted in favour of locally-made LC?

    It takes approx 40 driving hrs to haul product by road from Melbourne to Perth – not a prohibitive logistical problem considering there are LC-equipped tanker bases in places like McGrath, AK and Inuvik, NWT.

    Time to think long-term (pardon the pun), with the added bonus of having local access to a superior product.

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