BELGRADE, August 25 (RIA Novosti)
A Russian firefighting aircraft has arrived in Serbia to help the Balkan nation put out a number of forest fires, an Emergencies Ministry spokesman told RIA Novosti.
“The multipurpose, amphibious Beriev Be-200 aircraft landed in the city of Nis at 3:35 p.m. Moscow time,” the spokesman said.
Over 250 fires have been registered in recent weeks in Serbia, where daytime temperatures hover around 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).
Earlier this month, Russia sent a Kamov Ka-32 helicopter to Serbia to assist in the firefighting effort.
The largest fire at present is in the mountainous Zlatibor Region, a popular tourist area.
The Be-200 can land on water and scoop up 3,000 gallons (12 tons) of water into its hull, and then fly to an affected area and drop its load onto a fire. It can also be reconfigured for search and rescue or passenger flying. Beriev is the world's only maker of large amphibious jet aircraft.
The agreement to send the Be-200, which will remain in Serbia until September 15, was signed by Russian Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov and Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic.
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