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Big water-bombing aircraft en route to Australia to fight fires delayed by international disasters


A very large air tanker drops red fire retardant on a forest fire.

The arrival from the United States of the first two of four air tankers promised by Prime Minister Scott Morrison to help with national firefighting efforts has been delayed by tornadoes in Alabama and an erupting volcano in the Philippines.

Richard Alder, general manager of the National Aerial Firefighting Centre (NAFC), which manages the procurement and coordination of firefighting aircraft for the states and territories, told the ABC the first two — a DC-10 and an MD-87 — were now expected to arrive later this week.

The arrival from the United States of the first two of four air tankers promised by Prime Minister Scott Morrison to help with national firefighting efforts has been delayed by tornadoes in Alabama and an erupting volcano in the Philippines.

The delays come as the Japanese Government prepares to send two C-130 Hercules military transport aircraft from its Self Defence Force to Australia to help with bushfire relief operations.

Already Australia has received military assistance from neighbours such as Singapore, Papua New Guinea, Fiji and New Zealand.


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