Forest firefighting operation by IAF helicopter in Mukkunimala

Issue No. 4 | February 16-28, 2017Photo(s): By IAF

On February 21, 2017, Mi-17V5 helicopters of the Indian Air Force (IAF) doused fire in an operation at Mukkunimala Hill which is located 10 km east of airfield at Thiruvananthapuram. An Air Force radar is also located on hill top at Mukkunimala. Due to lack of rain in the region, first forest fire occurred in the hills on February 18. The same was put off by employing domestic fire tenders of IAF and the Kerala Fire Service. The fire, however, continued to reoccur due to thick and dry vegetation. On February 21, Kerala State Government requested IAF for assistance in terms of employing helicopters to douse the forest fire at Mukkunimala.

Two Mi-17V5 helicopters which undertook the operation flew a total of five sorties in Bambi bucket configuration and dropped 62,050 litres of water to douse the forest fire. By evening the fire was fully doused.