RUSSIA/CHILE – MOSCOW, February 27. /TASS/. Russian Emergencies Ministry has concluded its mission in assisting Chile in combating wildfires, the ministrys press service told TASS.
“Thanks to coordination between the international air group and ground forces, the forest fire situation in Chile has stabilized. In accordance with the decision of the Coordination Center, the fire-fighting activities have been concluded, Chiles aviation is now monitoring the situation,” the press service said.
According to the National Office of Emergencies of the Chilean Interior Ministry, all pockets of the wildfires have been extinguished.
“Today, after concluding its fire-fighting mission, the Il-76 aircraft of Russias Emergencies Ministry has departed from Santiago to Russia,” the ministry added.
The Russian Emergencies Ministry says that Chiles National Office of Emergencies has thanked Russian pilots for demonstrating extraordinary capabilities when combating forest fires, pointing to their precise accuracy, as more than 90% of water was dropped exactly where it was intended. “They also noted that the Il-76 aircraft of Russias Emergencies Ministry can carry 42 tonnes of water which is four times greater than other aircraft,” the Russian ministry highlighted. The airfield service of Santiago airport, where the Russian Il-76 aircraft was based, repeatedly said that their personnel considered it an honor to work with “the Russian team.”
The Il-76 aircraft began combating wildfires in Chile on January 30. “Over this period, the aircraft had conducted 41 flights, dropping water 80 times, totaling 1,700 tonnes, on to forest fires,” the Russian Emergencies Ministry elaborated. Thus, the Russian pilots prevented the fire from spreading to 17 settlements with a total population of more than 900,000.