Flying over the burning Mount Parnitha – “Breath-taking” footage from the Fire Department’s coordinating helicopter
The dangers and challenges that firefighters face every day in the field are revealed by impressive images from the coordination helicopter of the Fire Brigade, which this morning directed the firefighting planes and helicopters that attempted on the front of Mount Parnitha.
In many cases, the coordinator asks the aerial operators to drop water into a ravine, where thick smoke, the morphology of the terrain and the presence of ground firefighting forces make the work of the airmen particularly difficult.
In this context, the coordinator repeatedly asks the pilots to follow all safety protocols and follow specific courses, especially when entering and exiting the ravine, to avoid the risk of a crash or collision between two aerial vehicles.
It is also indicative that one of the operators asks the coordinator to contact the ground units and ask them to move to avoid being hit by the water drop, while at another point the coordinator requests shots to reduce the pyrothermal load of the fire and to facilitate the work of the ground departments.
Another factor that makes the work of aerial firefighting difficult, as it appears from the communications between the aerial means, is the strong winds that blew in Parnitha in the morning and at noon, which carried the water dropped by the planes off target.
For this reason, the coordinator orders the pilots to adjust their operational approach and make drops slightly ahead of the fire front, so as to hydrate the vegetation, increase the moisture of the plants and in this way slow down – limit the spread of the fire.
The radio conversations also show the quick reflexes of the fire brigade as well as the importance of water intake and forest protection infrastructure.
Indicative of the quick reactions of the Corps, at some point the coordinator of Parnitha, following the instructions of the national coordination center in Marousi, releases one of the aerial vehicles he had at his disposal and immediately redirects it, loaded with water, towards Avlonas, where she at the time there was concern about the rapid spread of fire.
Regarding the infrastructure, throughout the operation, the pilots inform that they are going to fetch water, but instead of heading to the sea, losing valuable time and consuming fuel, they are directly supplied with water from the nearby reservoirs of EYDAP.
At the same time, the images from the coordinating helicopter show the new and expanded anti-fire zones in the Metohi area that were opened or widened within a few hours yesterday, by government agencies and private individuals, in order to prevent the fire from spreading to the mountain and the residential fabric.
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