Fire season has kicked off in Victoria and firefighters across the state are calling for reinforcements in preparation for the summer ahead.
The call out was so loud in fact it has been heard by firefighters on the ground and in the air.
On Wednesday, two firefighting helicopters touched base at Bendigo Airport to become part of the joint effort from the Country Fire Authority and Forest Fire Management Victoria to protect the local community over summer.
The two choppers - a Helitak 335 water bombing helicopter and a Firebird Squirrel - will be based out of the airport and will provide essential assistance to ground crews over the fire danger period.
The Helitak 335 water bombing helicopter carries 3,000 litres of water in it's tank which can be filled in 40 seconds.
The Firebird Squirrel helicopter carries firefighting staff to to oversee and coordinate the aerial tactical operation and act as a liaison between ground crews and the water bomber.
CFA assistant chief fire officer and Loddon Mallee regional commander Bill Johnstone said the choppers were crucial to fire safety this season.
"This is one of 50 (helicopters) in service this year," he said.
"It's very manoeuvrable and can get into lots of areas to support our boys and girls on the ground."
FFMVic regional manager fire and emergency preparedness Carsten Nannestad said the speed of aerial firefighting support is the most important factor in successfully fighting fires.
"The key to firefighting is to get on top of fires really quickly," he said.
"The longer you leave it the longer they take to suppress.
"Helicopters are so vital because they can be deployed in 15 minutes from receiving the 000 call... so we can hit the fire hard and fast in the initial stages and stop it spreading."
From a firefighting perspective, the Central Victoria and Mallee region is looking good, he said.
"We are looking at a relatively average season in terms of the bushfire risk," Mr Nannestad said.
The La Nina event at the moment means there's above average rainfall, but it is also likely to be hotter between now and February.- Carsten Nannestad
"It's really important for property owners to get their properties ready and to cut these long grasses that have grown."
More information on property preparation ahead of the summer bushfire season can be found at cfa.vic.gov.au/plan-prepare/how-to-prepare-your-property.
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