It has become a familiar and reassuring sight — planes and helicopters dumping loads of water and fire retardant on out-of-control blazes.
But experts are warning that fire services do not have enough large aircraft to deal with the unprecedented magnitude of fires we are now faced with.
Former NSW Deputy Fire and Rescue commissioner Ken Thompson said Australia needed to invest in more large aircraft that are available year-round.
“We’ve got real concerns about the impact that climate change is having on fire behaviour and we’ve got very serious concerns about the small numbers of large aircraft that are available to support firefighters and local communities,” he said.
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