IAF aircraft deployed to extinguish forest fire near Tirupati
New Delhi: IAF used its aircraft including two Mi-17V5 choppers with huge buckets to control fire in forests near the Tirupati temple in Andhra Pradesh, Defence Ministry said on Thursday.
"Two MI-17 V5 helicopters with `Bambi buckets` with a capacity of 4,000 litres of water each, reached Renigunta Airport and commenced the task of fire fighting. The helicopters carried out four sorties wherein all forest fires burning near the Temple were extinguished," a Ministry release said.
The IAF had also deployed the An-32 and the C-130J Super Hercules aircraft for carrying out a recce of the area to get a clear picture about the fire in the forest near the temple.
The Ministry said the Defence Crisis Management Group headed by the tri-services Integrated Defence Staff had deployed assets soon after the state administration requested for help yesterday at around 1500 hours.
The Army also deployed around 150 personnel from Chennai to assist the state administration in handling the crisis.
"HQ Integrated Defence Staff is in touch with the authorities of the Tirupati Tirumala Devasthanam and continuously monitoring the Armed Forces response. The helicopter operations are likely to continue till tomorrow," the Ministry added.
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