Two Brazilian C-130 Hercules military planes have been sent to the Amazon state of Rondonia to put out the massive fire raging in the world’s largest tropical rain forest from over two weeks.
The warplanes have been sent to dump thousands of gallons of water on the burning forests.
“As of Sunday, President Jair Bolsonaro had authorized military operations in seven states to combat raging fires in the Amazon at the request from their local governments,” a spokeswoman for his office was quoted as saying by Reuters.
A video posted by the Defense Ministry shows a military plane bailing water out of two giant jets as it passed through clouds of smoke close to the forest canopy.
The Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules four-engine turboprop military plane originally designed as a troop, medevac, and cargo transport aircraft. It can be modified to perform a variety of roles such as gunship (AC-130), for airborne assault, search and rescue, scientific research support, weather reconnaissance, aerial refueling, maritime patrol, and aerial firefighting.
The Amazon experienced an 84% surge in wildfires this year, according to the country’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) space agency. The agency reports its satellite data has detected more than 72,000 fires since January 2019. The rainforest is seen as vital to the fight against climate change because of the vast amounts of carbon dioxide that it absorbs, it provides 20% of the planet’s oxygen and is home to one million indigenous people as well as three million species of plants and animals.