Fire-fighting choppers touch down at Shepparton Airport

By James Bennett

The smoke from bushfires burning in Victoria's east and NSW has made visibility so bad in the Ovens region that four helicopters have been re-directed from there to Shepparton Airport.

Two Erickson Aircranes and two Firebird helicopters were sent late Tuesday afternoon.

The two huge water bombers, which are about 21.4m long and have a rotor span of almost 22 m, even drew a small crowd of people hanging over the fence for a look.

The aircraft were due to head back to Myrtleford early Wednesday but were delayed due to poor visibility as a result of smoke in the Greater Shepparton region.

It's believed the Erickson Air Cranes at Shepparton Airport are two of three such aircraft in the state.

The two accompanying choppers act as air traffic control, assisting the fire bombers to disperse water in the required location.

An Erickson Aircrane can drop more than 8000 litres of water at a time.