South American planes and military personnel fight wildfires


through Alejandro sanchez

The Armed Forces of Bolivia and Peru have deployed fixed and rotary wing planes equipped with Guardian firefighting systems and Bambi buckets to fight forest fires in both countries.

The Peruvian Air Force deployed an Alenia C-27J Spartan transport aircraft and a Mil Mi-17 helicopter on August 8 to combat forest fires in the Cuzco region. Another Mi-17 helicopter, assigned to the army, is already operating in the area. Video footage released by Peruvian media shows a helicopter using a Bambi bucket system to collect water from Lake Huacarpay. The Mi-17 can carry 3.5 tons of water, while the Spartan can drop up to 4 tons of water via the Guardian system, according to Air Force data.

Likewise, a Bolivian Airbus H215 (Super Puma) medium military helicopter carried out 18 operations on August 8 to fight a fire in the San Matías nature reserve, Santa Cruz department. According to the Bolivian Ministry of Defense, 31,000 liters of water were transported by helicopter on that date. The ministry plans to deploy a second Super Puma to help with firefighting operations.

A Peruvian Mil Mi-17 helicopter collecting water from Lake Huacarpay to fight forest fires on August 8, 2021 (Peruvian Air Force (FAP))

On August 3, the Bolivian government announced the creation of a multi-purpose battalion, assigned to the seventh division of the army, to fight against natural disasters. The troops were deployed to fight a forest fire in Tunari Park, in the department of Cochabamba.

The Bolivian government is also said to have transferred around 6 million BOB (870,000 USD) to the armed forces to pay for transport, fuel, food and other expenses to fight the fires.

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The armed forces of Bolivia and Peru have deployed fixed and rotary wing aircraft equipped with Gua …


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