SA Country Fire Service

Media release

Smoke but no fire - CFS Aerial exercises this week


The SA Country Fire Service will be conducting a series of simulated aerial firefighting drills for four days this week, which will simulate bushfire smoke around the Mid North area, but have no fear, it is all a carefully simulated exercise.

From Tuesday 5 September to Friday 8 September, smoke cannisters will be used to simulate active bushfires at Wirrabara Range Conservation Park as part of an exercise for surveillance and firebombing aircraft.

CFS Manager Aviation Operations, Nik Stanley, said the exercises are all part of the CFS' annual pre-season training ahead of the Fire Danger Season and residents shouldn't be alarmed by the increased presence of aircraft.

"These exercises are valuable training tools for our Air Attack Supervisors, particularly when we are identifying the capabilities of a new aircraft or mapping and monitoring fire behaviour,' Mr Stanley said.

"We understand there can be some confusion from the public if they see the columns of smoke, so we ask everyone to help allay those concerns and avoid people making unnecessary '000' calls," he said.

Approximately 20 CFS Air Operations personnel, including staff, volunteers and contractors are involved in the training program - including four new members who will be qualified in the airborne tactical coordination of firebombing missions.

The training exercises will involve one fixed wing surveillance aircraft, one surveillance aircraft, one bucketing helicopter and two Single Engine Air Tankers.

Training will occur from approximately 0900 to 1630 each day from the Port Pirie Aerodrome.

Media information
For media enquiries call the CFS Media Line on 08 8115 3531.

Government of South Australia