A new fire-spotting helicopter has arrived in the ACT, to assist the ACT Rural Fire Service (RFS) over the summer months.
The ‘Firebird 100’ chopper, owned by Microflite, has Secret Intelligence Gathering (SIG) capabilities, and can provide real-time streaming and scanning of any hotspots for potential fires with infrared cameras, as well as the capability to water-bomb fires. The footage and data is sent, in real-time, to the Emergency Services Agency (ESA) Incident Management Team.
In a statement, Emergency Services Minister Mick Gentleman said the Firebird 100 spotted a number of fires in the ACT last bushfire season, with emergency services able to bring them under control very early.
“It’s an invaluable asset to the ACT community and is one of many initiatives the ACT Government has funded to protect Canberrans throughout the bushfire season, including recent recruitment of 20 new ACT Fire and Rescue firefighters,” he said.