Now one of the world's oldest, Adelaide's Merryweather motor fire engine in 1909 quickly proved its worth over horse-drawn appliances. It could reach 70km/h. Sold for scrap in 1937 and retrieved for air-raid service in World War II, it was rescued from being cut up in 1965 by enthusiast Laurie Vinall.
Displayed at the National Motor Museum, Birdwood.

 18 water
bombers and 11 surveillance aircraft on call 

A COUNTRY FIRE SERVICE AIRBASE IN NOW OPERATING in the Adelaide Hills, with 18 aircraft ready to provide water bombing and surveillance support during fire danger seasons.

The airbase has moved from Woodside to the new Claremont Aerial Firefighting Base in Brukunga, improving aerial firefighting efficiency and safety of firefighters and the community.

Greater filling capacity and more parking areas at the new Claremont airbase will result in quicker turnaround times for water bombers. The new airbase and the longer runway will enable air tankers to take off with near maximum loads in all but the worst weather conditions.

The new Claremont base is one of 41 used by CFS throughout South Australia.

The base is used by Aerotech First Response, a South Australian family-owned company, is the primary contractor providing 16 aircraft services across South Australia to the CFS.

The squadron of 18 aircraft includes 11 aerial bombers and seven aerial supervision surveillance aircraft.

When a fire breaks out on high-fire-danger days, the CFS dispatches firefighting aircraft, with bombers often getting to the fire site before tankers do.

Support aircraft are used to inform the bombers and also the public as to where the fire is and where it is headed.

Aerial firefighting is a critical component of the state‚Äôs bushfire response. Aircraft support firefighters on the ground who are essential to putting out fires.

Volunteers are a major part of the aviation fleet with air operations brigades throughout the state assisting to load aerial bombers with firefighting suppressant.


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