Monday, August 4, 2014

PAF deploys firefighting aircraft to contain Rapu-Rapu fire

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 4): PAF deploys firefighting aircraft to contain Rapu-Rapu fire

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) on Monday announced that it has deployed firefighting aircraft to help contain the blaze which has so far destroyed an estimated 6,000 hectares of forest and grass land in Rapu-Rapu, Albay.

The blaze was believed to have started Sunday morning.

Lt. Col. Enrico Canaya, PAF spokesperson, said "Huey II" helicopters fitted with "Bambi" buckets were immediately deployed to help fight the fires Sunday.

He added that these air assets were told to drop their loads to prevent the fire from spreading.

Canaya said that initially, one "Huey II" helicopter, which was based in Villamor Air Base, Pasay City, was deployed in Rapu-Rapu, Albay to help in firefighting operations.

Another one, based in Davao City, was deployed to augment the efforts of the first helicopter.

A W-3A "Sokol" combat utility helicopter was also deployed to help in air reconnaissance, he added.

Canaya clarified that the operations of these assets are depended on the weather conditions meaning that if visibility is good, the planes can fly almost all the time.

The fires have so far affected 2,065 families.

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