MOSCOW, January 31. /TASS/. An Ilyushin-76 turbofan plane of the Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations and Civil Defense has gotten down to extinguishing wildfires in Chile and a highly complicated situation with woodland fires is taking shape, the ministry’s press service told TASS.
"The plane arrived in Santiago de Chile on January 30 after making a trans-continental flight from Moscow and, upon agreement with the Chilean authorities, it was almost immediately dispatched to join a firefighting operation," a spokesperson for the press service said.
The Russian crew has been assigned to one of the knottiest areas where a woodland fire is threatening the town of Portosuello, home to several thousand people.
"The Ilyushin-76 is engaged in an operation near that town and its main objective is to protect the town and localize the blaze," the spokesperson said.
The crew has a long record of participation in firefighting efforts complicated by poor visibility and a heavy smoke screen. The turbofan is equipped with water bombing installations and has a capability for discharging more than 42 tons of water in one go on the areas engulfed by fire./
Chilean authorities have introduced an emergency situation in six regions - Valparaiso, Santiago, O’Higgins, Maule, Bio Bio, and Araucania - in the wake of spreading wildfires. The Russian government sent the Ilyushin-76 on a mission there pending a request from the Chilean government.