ATHENS, August 11. /TASS/. Russia’s Beriev Be-200 and Ilyushin Il-76 aircraft have joined efforts to combat forest fires in the Arcadia region on Greece’s Peloponnese Peninsula, a spokesman for the Greek Fire Response Service told TASS on Wednesday.
Two Il-76 planes arrived in Greece on Tuesday to help fight forest fires and two Mil Mi-8 helicopters were delivered to the country in the early hours of Wednesday.
According to available information, Russia’s Be-200 amphibious aircraft and the two Il-76 planes will operate as a team for the next several hours, the pentapostagma.gr website writes, adding that the three aircraft will for the first time drop a total of 110 tonnes of water to douse the blazes.
The Kremlin press service said on Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin had handed down instructions to increase the number of Russian planes involved in the fight against wildfires in central Greece based on an urgent request from the country’s government.
For over ten days, Greece has been experiencing an unusual heatwave, which triggered dozens of forest fires. A Russian Be-200 plane, deployed to the country in late June, is involved in daily efforts to combat major fires. According to the Greek media, the amphibious aircraft has proved highly effective in fighting fires.