During the bushfire season, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) calls on additional fixed-wing water bombers from the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPAW) who has the largest fleet.
These aircraft are released to assist DFES to contain large bushfires and support its ground and helicopter fleet.
Both DPAW and DFES aircraft are on standby through contract arrangements during the bushfire season and operate from metropolitan and regional bases strategically located at Jandakot, Bunbury and Manjimup and Albany.
Fixed-wing water bombers are a valuable and efficient firefighting resource used to assist helicopters and ground crews to boost firefighting capability.
Like helitacs, water bombers can only operate during daylight hours but due to the location of their nominated operating bases can be redirected quickly to high priority fires at short notice. They are also capable of carrying and dropping up to 3200 litres of water.