He’s here to help.
Minister for Emergency Services and Dubbo MP Troy Grant, NSW Rural Fire Service (NSWRFS) commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons and Dubbo Regional Council mayor Ben Shields welcomed the fire-bombing aircraft to Dubbo airport on Monday.
Hunter, as it is known, will be based at Dubbo for the next three months, with the location perfect for the aircraft which is part of the NSW RFS aerial firefighting fleet during the peak bushfire season.
And we are expecting a big one.
In past years it’s been February that has brought the full horror of raging infernos racing across the land, threatening residents, destroying livestock, crops, homes and livelihoods.
The region was fortunate during the 2017-2018 fire season that there were no major bush fire outbreaks, and that the climate conditions worked in our favour.
Last year, during the start of the season the NSW Rural Fire Service Orana brigades doused 58 grass, scrub and bush fires in the last three months of 2017, down from 78 in the same period in 2016 and the fires were less intense, easier to control and consumed less ground.
The weather can change fairly rapidly and with that other conditions.
The RFS and other fire brigades are in a high state of readiness throughout the season.
Having Hunter here on our doorstep showcases this.
It’s great that Dubbo has the facilities to be the geographical location.
As Troy Grant said our city is “the centre of the state, that can support so many areas with a quick response time,” and Ben Shields backed, “There’s a really special feeling out there that Dubbo is the base to potentially deliver life and property saving services,”
The continuing drought has dried things out, so it’s important to be extra prepared this year ahead of the worst that we are sure will come.
Having Hunter here on our doorstep will help, not only this region, but others. Already we have seen the effects of fire around the state.
The “people” who need to take care are … all of us. The firies have our backs, that is certain, and we have theirs too.
So make sure you give a wave of thanks if you see Hunter flying across the sky.