Graphic shows key aircraft battling bushfires in Australia.
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AUSTRALIA

Aircraft playing key role in fighting Australia’s bushfires

By Jordi Bou

January 15, 2020 - A combination of aircraft including helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft and larger air-tankers, able to reach the most inaccessible regions, provide a crucial role in battling Australia’s worst bushfires on record.

With aircraft, the fire services can scout out inaccessible regions and determine if a fire has broken out. With helicopters, they can evacuate homes and trapped fire teams. And with waterbombers, they can fight the fire directly and help ground crews put out a blaze.

This year, the National Aerial Firefighting Centre (NAFC) fleet of around 130 aircraft has been boosted by up to 500 aircraft from more than 150 operators.

Most of the aircraft available can be used to “firebomb” water onto fires or drop retardant from the sky above.

Australia is battling its worst bushfire season on record, with fires burning since September killing 29 people, destroying more than 2,500 homes and razing bushland across an area the size of Bulgaria.

PUBLISHED: 15/01/2020; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Getty Images
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