Russian firefighting plane to help Serbia

August 26th, 2012 - 5:07 am ICT by IANS  

Belgrade, Aug 26 (IANS/RIA Novosti) A Russian firefighting aircraft has reached Serbia to help the Balkan nation put out a number of forest fires.

The multipurpose, amphibious Beriev Be-200 aircraft landed in Nis city Saturday, an official said.

Over 250 fires have been registered in recent weeks in Serbia, where daytime temperatures hover around 40 degrees Celsius.

Earlier this month, Russia sent a Kamov Ka-32 helicopter to Serbia to assist in the firefighting effort.

The largest fire at present is going on in the mountainous Zlatibor region, a popular tourist area.

The Be-200 can land on water and scoop up 3,000 gallons (12 tonnes) of water into its hull, and then fly to an affected area and drop its load onto a fire. It can also be reconfigured for search and rescue or passenger flying.

Beriev is the world’s only maker of large amphibious jet aircraft.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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