Ecocopter joins fleet to fight forest fires in Chile 

Ecocopter joins fleet to fight forest fires in Chile 

6-Oct-2021 Source: Ecocopter

The commune of Til Til is on red alert due to the voracious forest fire in the area, where there are five helicopters and four airplanes flying over the area to extinguish the fire and prevent it from spreading. In addition to this, there is the Los Vilos fire, active since Monday. Climate change, the increase in temperature, the scarcity of rainfall and the increase in the intentionality of forest fires are the main sources of concern and have brought forward the road map for the “forest fire season” in Chile.

In this scenario, President Sebastián Piñera, advanced the prevention season which is projected to be extremely complex, due to variables that directly affect the generation of fire such as; the mega drought, the dry and stressed vegetation, and the strong and changing winds. Thus, the government allocated Ch$ 68,801 million for fire prevention and firefighting, which will be used to finance aircraft, brigades and specialized machinery. 

Thus, Conaf will have 62 aircraft and more than 3,500 brigade members. There will be a total of 270 conventional, night and helitransport brigades, where Ecocopter, among other companies, will play a fundamental role in extinguishing the fire.

“Ecocopter is recognized for its professionalism in fighting forest fires, supporting various public and private institutions in firefighting.  Today, we are aware that the incidence of forest fires could increase and everything indicates that we are going to be very active, so we are already prepared to operate”, says Francisco Arriagada, Ecocopter’s Commercial Manager.

Ecocopter has 2 aircraft, models AS350 B3/H125, operating to fight the fire and they will be on alert in the bases located in the Ñuble and Maule regions. One of them is also collaborating in extinguishing the fire in Los Vilos. This type of aircraft can fly at low altitude, have power, stability, speed and a capacity to release up to 1,000 liters of water per discharge and transport brigade members. A complete logistics to provide the service in a fast, timely and efficient manner, key attributes at the time of fighting the fire. “We have a complete support plan, increasing the availability of the fleet, equipment and preparation of the crews, in addition to operating with a sense of urgency and having all the safety measures to contribute to extinguishing the fire and prevent the spread that causes so much damage to our country,” Arriagada emphasizes.

The National Forestry Corporation has so far recorded nearly fifty forest fires throughout Chile since July 1, when the 2021-2022 season began.  For this reason, and facing the climatic contingency, and the unusual occurrence, the institution advanced its plan to combat these fires and where Ecocopter will continue to play a key role as it does every year.

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