Bolivian President Evo Morales announced Wednesday the country’s government had sought the assistance of the Global Supertanker to assist firefighting efforts already underway in the small South American country.
The Colorado Springs, CO based Boeing 747 VLAT Global Supertanker arrived at Viru Viru International Airport in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia at 10:37pm EST Thursday evening, on a direct flight from Sacramento, California.
Firefighters on the ground in Bolivia have been fighting a losing battle to contain fires that continue to spread near Bolivia’s border with Paraguay and Brazil that have already burned over 1.6 million acres.
Ground and aerial firefighting efforts that include helicopters, ground wildland firefighting crews and even five hundred members of the country’s armed forces who have been assigned to the firefighting effort have struggled to keep up with the rapidly spreading blaze which eventually lead to the commissioning of the VLAT asset in the hopes of quelling the spread and extinguishing what is still burning.
The Global Supertanker is capable of delivering up to 19,200 gallons in a single salvo, or can also deploy segmented drops as needed. The VLAT SuperTanker also has the ability to drop water, retardant, or suppressant as needed.
The Global Supertanker has since its commencement assisted in major fires in Australia, Alaska, California, Chile Israel, Mexico and Spain.
To see more on the Global Supertanker in action, take a look at some footage of the VLAT B747 in action.