Russian amphibious aircraft fights wildfires in Israel
Be-200 amphibious aircraft of the Russian Emergencies Ministry have prevented spread of wildfires in Haifa, Israel, the ministry’s press service told TASS on Nov 27.
"For one day, Be-200 have been extinguishing wildfires near Haifa and Jerusalem," the press service said. "In the joint effort with the Israeli ground fire grouping, they managed to protect Haiva, which has suffered wildfires already."
Within one day, the emergency ministry’s aircraft dropped water 14 times, the total weight being almost 170 tonnes.
The aircraft operated from the Hatzor Airbase. "They pick water from the Mediterranean Sea in hydroplaning, which requires top concentration from the crews, and in fact pinpoint accuracy," the emergencies ministry said. "As the aircraft fill the tanks with water right from the water surface, they require less time to get back to the fire area."
Be-200 arrived in Israel, seized by wildfires, on Nov. 25, as ordered by President Vladimir Putin, and joined the international aviation grouping there to tackle the fire.
The Beriev Be-200 multipurpose airplane, known as one of the world’s most effective aircraft for firefighting, has a capacity of 12 tons of water and is capable of suppressing large-scale wildfires by conducting multiple water drops on a fire site.
In the past Russian planes took part in extinguishing forest fires in Serbia, Greece, Montenegro and Portugal.