MINSK, 22 August (BelTA) – A Mi-26 helicopter of the Belarusian Emergencies Ministry has left Belarus for Georgia where it will be helping extinguish a massive forest fire, BelTA has learned.
The helicopter was dispatched upon instructions of the head of state on 22 August. The forest fire in Georgia is close to several populated localities. Georgia has requested the assistance of several countries. Ten fire fighters are on board of the Belarusian helicopter. They are experienced in fighting massive fires in environmental systems. The helicopter will be refueled in Rostov-on-Don. The Belarusian fire fighters have worked in Georgia, Serbia, and Russia. One of the helicopters is in Turkey now on a relief mission.
Mi-26 is a heavy multipurpose transport helicopter, which boasts the world's largest cargo lift capacity. It is fitted with an external tank to be able to fight fires. The tank can hold up to 15 tonnes of water. Fire-fighting helicopters have been proven effective many times, particularly in rough terrain where delivering water by surface transport is impossible.More about Society