Indian Air Force Respond to Fires with Bambi Bucket Equipped Mi-17

The Coonoor forest range in the Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, has been engulfed in relentless wildfires for nearly a week. Stepping up to combat this crisis, the Indian Air Force has joined forces with the state forest department, employing the Russian-built Mi-17 V5 helicopter, undertaking multiple missions employing a Bambi Bucket to douse the flames with over 4000 gallons dropped so far on the fires.

The Bambi Bucket serves as a vital tool in aerial firefighting for India, which currently relies on its military personnel to assist without contractors. This method proves invaluable for the Indian Air Force crews in tackling wildfires beyond ground crews’ reach.

In India, the period from November to June marks the forest fire season, characterized by a significant surge in small-scale and large-scale fires, particularly as summer approaches. April and May typically witness the peak of fire activity across the nation.

According to the 2019 India State of Forest Report (ISFR) by the Forest Survey of India (FSI), 36% of the country’s forest cover is identified as prone to frequent fires. Moreover, approximately 4% of the forested areas are classified as ‘extremely prone’ to fire outbreaks, with an additional 6% categorized as ‘very highly’ susceptible to such incidents.

These statistics underscore the critical importance of bolstering aerial firefighting capabilities in the country, such as those demonstrated by the recent deployment of the Mi-17 V5 helicopter equipped with the Bambi Bucket system.

AerialFire Staff
AerialFire Staff
AerialFire Magazine strives to provide you with breaking aerial firefighting industry news and information.

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