MOSCOW, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- Russian Emergencies Ministry has sent an Il-76 plane to Chile to help fight with wildfires, the biggest in the country's history, on the request of the latter, the Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported on Tuesday.
According to the Russian Emergencies Ministry's press-service, the Il-76 aircraft arrived in Santiago on Monday to help extinguish wildfires raging in Chile, and it has already started fighting fires in agreement with Chile's authorities.
Another plane, an "Antonov" with four helicopters, will arrive in Chile on Tuesday to join the fight against the wildfires.
The ministry said that Russian aircraft would be used in the area with the most difficult situation, where fire threatens to spread to the town of Portezuelo, with a population of about 1000 people. The main aims of the Russian rescuers are to protect locals from fire and extinguish wildfires in the area.
On Jan. 20, the Chilean government declared a state of emergency due to wildfires raging in the south and central areas of the country, which have been described as the worst in the country's history, prompting an international response. Wildfires have claimed the lives of 11 people, including five firefighters.
The Il-76, designed for work under heavy conditions, has a great experience of fighting wildfires and participated many times in liquidating emergency situations in the Russian Federation and abroad. The plane is equipped with spray tanks that can discharge up to 42 metric tons of water in one time.