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12 Oct, 2015

Water Bombing Operations to put out forest fires start in Sumatra

JAKARTA, Oct 11 (NNN-CNA) — The combined team from Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia has begun water bombing operations to put out the forest fires in south Sumatra.

In a statement issued by Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) on Sunday (Oct 11), a total of seven helicopters and four fixed-wing aircraft are involved in the mission.

The operation will be concentrated in the Ogan Komering Ilir and Musi Banyuasin areas.

Singapore has sent a Republic of Singapore Air Force Chinook helicopter and 34 SAF personnel to help fight the ongoing forest fires, together with a six-man Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team from the Singapore Civil Defence Force, and a 5,000-litre heli-bucket. Two RSAF C-130 aircraft were also deployed to transport SAF and SCDF personnel, as well as their equipment, said Singapore’s Ministry of Defence.

Meanwhile, Malaysia has deployed a 25-member team along with three assets, including a Bombardier aircraft that is capable of sucking up over 6,000 litres of water in 12 seconds, enough to put out fires the size of football field each round.

BNPB added that a team from Australia is expected to arrive in Palembang on Sunday, while Canberra is also expected to send its Thor type Hercules L 100 aircraft with the capacity to carry 15 tons of water early next week.

The Australian aircraft will only be used for five days as it is still needed to put out the forest fires in New South Wales, Australia, said BNPB.

Indonesia is still waiting on confirmation of help from other countries.