The aircraft is capable of carrying 12,000 liters of water
Air Force Agency – Asp Mônica Lopes, Asp Gabrielle Varela and Captain Alcoforado
A C-130 Hercules aircraft from the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) took off this afternoon (02/09), bound for Concepción, Chile, to help fight the forest fires raging in the central-southern part of the country.
The aircraft operated by the First Squadron of the First Transport Group (1°/1° GT) – Gordo Squadron, uses the MAFFS (Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System) and is capable of carrying 12 thousand liters of water. The equipment, which weighs 770 kilos, has two tubes that project water down the rear ramp of the plane at a height of approximately 150 feet (about 46 meters).
The authorization to send humanitarian aid came from the Presidency of the Republic, on Wednesday (02/08) and the operation is coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MRE), through the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC), the Ministry of Defense and the Brazilian Air Force.
At the moment, it is estimated that there are more than 300 focuses of fire, with more than 40 thousand hectares burned. There have been 26 deaths, more than 1,200 people injured, 3,000 people homeless, and more than 1,100 homes destroyed, in addition to more than 270,000 hectares of land affected. There is also a new “weather alert” due to extreme heat in the Maule and Ñuble regions.
The field operation is expected to last at least two weeks.
In January 2017, the FAB was also activated to act in the fight against the fire in Chile and the military of the 1st Troop Transport Group (1st GTT) carried out water transport during the 14-day mission in the country. In this operation, the Squadron reached the mark of 48 missions in six days of work. More than 500 thousand liters of water were poured over the fires located in the Bío-Bío region.
Chile also requested Brazil’s help in fighting fires in 2014. The FAB’s C-130 Hercules was sent to fight a forest fire that affected the municipalities of Florida and Temuco. About 30 Brazilian military personnel participated in that mission.
*** Translated by the DEFCONPress FYI Team ***