23:29 GMT05 July 2020
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    The Russian Emergencies Ministry’s amphibious Be-200 aircraft saved four settlements and two national parks from wildfire in Portugal in the past 24 hours, the ministry’s press service said in a statement.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russian pilots have reportedly shown high efficiency in localizing large pockets of fire and extinguishing separate fires.

    "Overall, two Emergencies Ministry aircraft carried out 37 discharges of water, the total mass of which amounted to 444 tonnes, tackling fire in four spots and saving four settlements and two national parks," the statement reads.

    According to the press service, the number of forest fires in mainland Portugal and on the island of Madeira has "significantly reduced due to the concerted action of an international aviation group," including the Russian Be-200 aircraft, as well as firefighting efforts on the ground. Aside from the Russian planes, Moroccan and Italian aircraft are part of the international group.

    On Friday, the Russian Emergencies Ministry said that it was sending two Be-200 Altair amphibious aircraft upon Portugal’s request to assist it in battling forest fires.

    The Beriev Be-200 is well suited to firefighting missions. It can take in up to 12.5 metric tons of water in a few seconds, while traveling over the water surface and then dropping its load on the flame.

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    Tags:
    firefighting, fire, amphibious aircraft, Be-200, Russian Emergencies Ministry, Portugal
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