World’s first Boeing 737 air tanker deployed to combat bushfires in New South Wales

A Boeing 737 modified for use as a waterbomber has been used to fight bushfires for the first time.

The giant modified aircraft dubbed Gaia, dropped several loads on two fires in New South Wales, Australia on Thursday, assisting firefighters on the ground.

NSW Rural Fire Service spokesman Chris Garlick said the RFS was pleased with effectiveness of the plane, which can carry more than 15,000 litres of water or fire retardant in a single load.

"It has been tested in other situations to demonstrate its effectiveness, but this is the first time in the world a 737 has been used to fight fires," he said.

"We're stoked with how it went."