Voices from Russia

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Serbia Asks Russia for Help in Combating Wildfires

Beriev Be-200 amphibious firefighting aircraft

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A statement from the Serbian government said Russia would send an additional aircraft to Serbia on Saturday to help fight ravaging wildfires. Several weeks ago, hot and dry weather settled in the Balkans, with temperatures sometimes exceeding 40 degrees (104 Fahrenheit), which resulted in numerous forest fires. In Serbia alone, foresters reported some 250 wildfires in the past two days. Late Friday night, an emergency meeting of the Serbian cabinet of ministers decided to ask Russia for help. In early August, the Ministry of Emergency Situations sent a Kamov Ka-32 helicopter to fight wildfires in Serbia, and, on Saturday, it’ll send a Beriev Be-200 amphibian firefighting aircraft as well. Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov and Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dačić signed an agreement to send the Be-200, which will remain in Serbia until 15 September. The Be-200 can land on water and scoop up 3,170 gallons (12,000 litres) of water into tanks within its hull; then, it can fly quickly to an affected area and drop its load onto a fire. It can also be reconfigured for search and rescue or cargo/passenger use (72 passengers or 12 metric tons of cargo). Beriev is the world’s only maker of large amphibious jet aircraft.

25 August 2012

RIA-Novosti

http://en.ria.ru/Environment/20120825/175425886.html

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