Russian Firefighting Aircraft
Could Go To Los Alamos
05/12/00 10:27:12 AM U.S. EDT
MOSCOW (AP) — Two giant Il-76 jets capable of dumping 44 tons of water are standing by to help fight the fire in Los Alamos in the United States if needed, Russian officials said Friday.
The Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations said it had received an official request from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency for the planes, but was awaiting confirmation before ordering the long flight to the United States. The planes were “ready to take off at any minute,” said ministry official Alexander Zalyotov.
The four-engine Il-76MDP can water-bomb an area 500 meters by 100 meters (500 yards by 100 yards) or drop 40 fully-equipped firefighters by parachute, according to Jane's All The World's Aircraft . A forest fire on Thursday swept into Los Alamos, site of the famed nuclear-weapons lab, and 18,000 residents have been evacuated.