Experts agree that there will be above-normal temperature conditions and below-normal rainfall, which implies that the fuel – the vegetation – will have much drier characteristics and this evidently contributes to a greater frequency and extension of forest fires that will break out in the central-southern area of the country.
Faced with this worrying forecast, Ecocopter’s fleet is on alert to combat any fire that may break out. “Ecocopter is recognized for its professionalism in fighting forest fires, supporting various public and private institutions to fight fires. Today, we are alert to what experts say about the increase in the incidence of forest fires, so we are prepared to operate quickly and effectively,” says Francisco Arriagada, Ecocopter’s Commercial Manager.
Ecocopter maintains at CONAF’s disposal 2 Airbus Helicopters, models AS350 B3/H125 that remain operational in two active forest bases to fight the fire (editor note: CONAF = Corporación Nacional Forestal, the National Forestry Corporation). These bases are located in the Maule and Valparaíso regions. “We have firefighting and foam injection devices with advanced technology, which allows us to identify the number of liters of water per discharge, and our specialized crews operate with a sense of urgency and with all the safety measures to contribute to extinguishing the fire and prevent the spread that causes so much damage to the country,” Arriagada emphasizes.
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 when fighting fires.
Thus, in recent years Chile has seen an increase in the number of forest fires, considering burned areas as well as intensity and duration. The occurrence of these phenomena in times of higher air temperature is recurrent and widespread, affecting most of the continental territory of our country. In addition, the scientific community has awakened much interest in the study of the effect of these events on the health and quality of life of people, generating greater awareness in the prevention and control of forest fires.
The National Forestry Corporation has so far counted close to a thousand forest fires throughout Chile during the 2021-2022 season. For this reason, and in view of 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 in extinguishing the fire, as it does every year.