Turkey procures Chinook choppers to battle wildfires

Turkey procures Chinook choppers to battle wildfires

TEKIRDAĞ- Demiroren News Agency
Turkey procures Chinook choppers to battle wildfires

Two of the 10 Boeing Chinook choppers Turkey purchased for firefighting purposes have arrived at Çorlu Atatürk Airport.

The helicopters were transported to the airport via Antonov 124 cargo planes.

One Model 234 and another Model 107 series helicopter, which landed from the An-124 with the blades removed, will be put into service after assembly and tests.

Three more helicopters will arrive during the day.

With their heavy payload capacity, the helicopters were first used last year. The General Directorate of Forestry achieved great efficiency in the fire extinguishing operation of the Boeing Chinook series heavy-lift helicopters.

Chinook, also known as a twin-engine, heavy-tonnage fire extinguisher, distinguishes itself from other helicopters with its maneuverability and high speed in narrow spaces and can be used in the most challenging terrain conditions with its 10-ton capacity water baskets mounted on its body.

“Turkey is the first country to use UAVs to monitor forest fires,” Agriculture and Forestry Minister Vahit Kirişci said during the 2022 Forest Fires Preparedness Evaluation Meeting.

Kirişci said that one of the important technologies used in firefighting is smart fire watchtowers. On the other hand, Kirişci stated that they strengthened their air and land power against fires, increased the number of helicopters from 39 to 55, the number of aircraft from three to 20, and the number of drones from four to eight.

‘Turkey ranks first in forestation in Europe’

According to the International Global Forest Resources Assessment 2020 report, Turkey ranks first in Europe and fourth in the world in afforestation, the minister said.

“We protect and develop our forests with approximately 40 thousand colleagues devoted to this work, and we continue our struggle to pass on our green homeland to future generations,” Kirişci said.

“On the one hand, we implement systems to prevent forest fires, and on the other hand, we bring more than 600 million saplings to the soil every year,” he added.

Kirişci also said that Turkey’s target for 2023 is to bring 7 billion saplings to the soil and thus increase the country’s forest area, which was 20.8 million hectares in 2002, to 23.4 million hectares.