A massive C-130 Hercules aircraft, better known as Thor, is the latest weapon against bushfires for the season. Thor recently thundered into Richmond Air Force Base, and will be able to reach anywhere in NSW within an hour. With the ability to hold 15,000 litres of fire retardant, we can all rest a little easier with the knowledge that Thor is in the skies and ready to extinguish potential flames from above.
The Rural Fire Service (RFS) is preparing for an above normal fire danger season this year, with warm and dry conditions predicted throughout. However, preparations for the season don’t stop at Thor. The RFS also have a DC-10 fire bomber at its disposal, which will hold up to 45,000 litres. The DC-10 is due to touch down on Australian soil in October.
Both of these aircraft are far, far bigger than any other aircraft in the fleet. But although this will help with the upcoming fire season, we should not slack off on personal preparation for what is predicted to be one of the worst fire seasons to date. Volunteer firefighters will be holding events and activities around the state in the upcoming months to inform residents on what they can do to prepare for bushfires. Basic preparation for the season ahead is critical. The RFS recommends the following:
- Make sure you and your family have a general understanding of bushfires and bushfire safety.
- Be home ready. Embers can travel many kilometres ahead of a fire so do your best to keep gutters and gardens clear of unnecessary debris.
- In times of increased fire danger, ensure you keep yourself informed via your local radio and news outlets.
Unfortunately, most deaths occur because people leave their homes too late. So this season, the RFS encourages you to be safe by preparing and acting as required.