DAVAO CITY, March 30 (PIA) Fire suppression operation went on for the second day at the peak of Mt. Apo facing Davao City and Davao del Sur using a super Huey helicopter by the Philippine Air Force.
Lt. Colonel Jose Ritchie Pabilona, commander of the Tactical Operations Group XI of the Philippine Air Force said that as of 11:00 0’clock am Wednesday, seven bucket operations had been conducted on the peak to put off the fire.
He said the chopper picks up water from Lake Mejo in Barangay Kapatagan, Digos, Davao del Sur using a large bucket to douse the raging forest fire several kilometers above the sea level.
Pabilona said only one chopper is used in the firefighting operation since two of its kind are posted in Western Visayas and Luzon Island, respectively.
“One of the choppers is used to also put off the fire near Mt. Kanlaon between Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental,” he said.
Pabilona said that the volunteers are coordinating with the chopper pilot to prioritize the burning areas which are hard to reach on foot.
He said the chopper is under the operational control of the 505th Search and Rescue Group and is capable of the bucket operation and has the capability to hoist survivors.
Pabilona said its bucket is capable of carrying three drums equivalent to 620 liters of water.
“It is capable of taking water from the lake, sea or river,” he said.
Pabilona said the fire suppression operation is focused on the peak facing Davao City and Davao del Sur. (PIA 11-Joey Sem G. Dalumpines)