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Russian air tanker helps localize wildfire in Armenia nature reserve

A major fire broke out in Armenia on August 12

MOSCOW, August 15. /TASS/. Major beds of wildfire in Armenia's Khosrov Forest State Reserve have been localized thanks to an Ilyushin-76 aircraft of the Russian emergencies ministry, which dropped more than 250 tonnes of water in six takes, a spokesman for the Russian emergencies ministry told TASS on Tuesday.

"Thanks to the six flights performed by the Russian emergencies ministry’s plane, major beds of fire in the reserve have been localized," the spokesman said.

The aircraft with water dumping equipment was dispatched to Armenia on Monday at the request of Armenian colleagues requesting help in firefight efforts in the national park.

An Il-76 aircraft can dump 42 tonnes of water at a time, as well as create an 800-meter-long and 60-meter-wide fire break on a total area of about 50,000 square meters. Ilyushin-76 is rated among the biggest air tankers in the world. Such planes have been used in firefighting operations both in Russia and abroad.

"The crew of the emergencies ministry’s Il-76 are trained for working in difficult conditions and have major experience in putting out wildfires. They have repeatedly taken part in operations to deal with emergency situations in Russia and abroad," the Russian emergencies ministry said earlier.

A major fire broke out in Khosrov Forest, 61km south-east of Yerevan, on August 12. Hundreds of hectares are engulfed in blaze.