Did you hear a helicopter roaring over Ballarat after sunset last night?
A special operation trialling the use of firefighting helicopters at night has kicked off for the first time in Australia.
Ballarat City Council released a statement through Facebook on Friday afternoon, confirming Emergency Management Victoria would deploy more waterbombers tonight from 6pm until 11pm.
Aircraft will also go up in the air on Monday and Tuesday nights.
The trial in Ballarat could signal the start of a major shakeup of how fires are fought in Australia.
“We’ve been working with the Civil Aviation and Safety Authority of Australia to make sure that we can have a safe system of operation to bomb fires at night from our aircraft, particularly our helicopters,” Emergency Management commissioner Craig Lapsley has previously said.
“It’s something that hasn’t been done in Australia before.”
Currently, Victoria’s firefighting air fleet must return to airports before nightfall.
Two waterbombing helicopters are based at Ballarat and Bacchus Marsh in summer.