The National Parks and Wildlife Service’s 2017-18 $40 million fire management budget will be boosted with $6.6 million over two years to replace two of its firefighting helicopters.
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton yesterday joined National Parks and Wildlife Service’s firefighters during a remote firefighting training exercise at Glenbrook, in the lower Blue Mountains.
“We recognise the vital work our National Parks staff do in battling fires, and we’re investing in high-tech equipment to allow them to do this to the best of their ability,” Mr Perrottet said.
Two new helicopters, which will be purchased over the next two years, will be used to operate in difficult and remote areas where they are flown in high altitudes and high temperatures, carrying heavy loads.
Ms Upton said since 2011 the NSW Government had increased funding for the National Parks and Wildlife Service to double its hazard reduction effort across the state.
“National Parks staff has on average undertaken 135,000 hectares of hazard reduction burning every year for the past five years,” Ms Upton said.
“The new helicopters are an important part of this hazard reduction program – they are used to undertake aerial incendiary work, observe the burns and to extinguish any fire activity that spots over the containment lines.”
The helicopters will also be used to help National Parks and Wildlife Service respond to wildfires across the state and support specialised rapid aerial firefighting teams responding to fires surrounding Sydney.