People, Environment

Low-Capacity Choppers Inefficient as Firefighters

Low-Capacity Choppers Inefficient as FirefightersLow-Capacity Choppers Inefficient as Firefighters

Helicopters in Iran repurposed for combating wildfires are not efficient enough to extinguish huge forest fires as they were not originally designed for the purpose, the deputy head of Protection Unit at the Department of Environment said.

Environment and forest authorities have so far relied on choppers belonging to the Armed Forces, Crisis Management Organization and the Iranian Red Crescent Society to put out the forest fires.

According to Manouchehr Fallahi, 14 provinces–including vulnerable regions such as Kurdestan, Kermanshah, Ilam, East Azarbaijan, West Azarbaijan, Khuzestan, Hamedan, Zanjan and Lorestan—are equipped with firefighting helicopters, ISNA reported.

However, these aircraft are not meant for firefighting and as such are not as efficient as helitankers.

“The aircraft have a capacity of around 3,000 liters of water, which is too small for our needs, particularly in impassable areas such as mountainous regions where spraying critical points is difficult,” he said.

Helitankers are equipped with features such as tanks, foam cannons and snorkels for filling from natural or manmade water resources, and carry up to 30,000 liters of water.

“Helitankers are very costly but even five of those can help us cover a wide area,” Fallahi said.

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