INAER Helicopter Chile, aware of the importance of conserving the environment, has once again this year reinforced its fleet of aircraft for the 2012-2013 firefighting campaign with helicopters from the now-completed summer campaign in Spain and Portugal, where they intervened in numerous forest fires.
During his visit to the Trilahue Air Base, Ricardo Rivera, leader of the Forest Protection Committee (Wood Corporation),said: “This is Forestal Mininco’s fourth year with a Kamov helicopter in order to fight forest fires, as well as another support Kamov for when the emergency requires it”.
The Kamovs are the largest, and one of the most efficient and powerful aircraft used in firefighting. They are capable of transporting 5,000 litres of water, five times the load of a conventional helicopter, and they take just 10 seconds to load and 15 seconds to release all the water.
The thing our commander in Chile highlight most is the fact that “as it has a double rotor it is not affected by the typical winds of forest fires and when the others are grounded, the Kamov continues to function and dispense water”.
Likewise, for the first time INAER has incorporated a Bell-412 into the forest fire campaign in Chile, at the Nacimiento Air Base, which is providing support to the Helicopter Brigade of Forestal Mininco. This helicopter stands out for its great transportation capacity, up to 15 people including the crew.
During the summer, INAER maintains six operative bases throughout the country for fire prevention and fighting, with a fixed fleet composed of two Bell 407s, one Bell 412, a Eurocopter AS 350 B3 and two KA-32s and a team of qualified professionals with considerable firefighting experience.
So far, the firefighting campaign has been very positive, as forest fires in the country have fallen by almost 90% compared to last year and, though the provinces of Concepción, Ñuble and Biobío remain on amber alert, the burnt surface area is considerably lower.
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