Air resources reallocated after Elvis grounded

STATE air resources have been reallocated after Erikson Aircrane ‘Elvis’ suffered a mechanical fault that will see the aircraft out of action for at least three days.

Erickson Aircrane ‘Gypsy Lady’ has been moved to Essendon Airport ready to replace Erickson Aircrane ‘Elvis’.

The aircraft was grounded yesterday afternoon after suffering hydraulic issues while working at the fires in and around Aberfeldy.

The hydraulic issues are unrelated to mechanical problems experienced by Elvis earlier this week.

Fire Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley said there are 14 aircraft currently fighting the Gippsland fires.

“The slightly cooler conditions across the state, and short flight times, have allowed us to place additional resources on stand-by for for the Gippsland fires,” he said.

“We will monitor the situation, including lightning strikes that occurred in the north-east overnight, before determining where and when the additional resources will be deployed.”

Mr Lapsley said one heavy, two medium and two light fire bombers have been joined by three fixedwing fire bombers, five light air attack supervision/observation helicopters and one fixed-wing firespotter to fight the Gippsland fires.

There are 70 trucks and more than 270 personnel working the Gippsland fires from CFA and DSE.

“We thank the volunteers and career staff that are working hard in very hot, smokey and challenging conditions,” Mr Lapsley said.