Spain sends troops to Chile to help fire battle

At the request of the Government of Chile, Spain has deployed a contingent of the Military Emergency Unit (UME) to collaborate in the wave of fires that the country is suffering. The troops took off on Sunday on an Airbus 330 of the 45th Group of the Air and Space Force from the Torrejón Air Base.

The main objective of the deployment is to offer the Chilean government specialised support with technical capabilities such as analysis and advice, and reinforcement of the Command and Control structure with drones (Mavic and Matrice 300 for large areas and Helios for confined spaces) as well as with satellite links.

The device will also contribute the experience in Spain regarding forest-urban interface fires, one of the threats that most worries Chilean officials.

The UME already collaborated in extinction work during the wave of fires that Chile suffered in 2017, when a contingent of 56 soldiers was sent whose performance was highly valued by the American country. There, the good understanding and effective coordination between the Spanish contingent and the rest of the local emergency services and the appreciation of the Chilean people were revealed.

Chile is going through a deep drought and since last December the central zone of the country began the campaign to fight fires with intensity. The increase in the number and magnitude of forest fires in Chile since February 3, aggravated by the deaths and the numerous evacuations of residents, have led to requests for this collaboration between the two countries in the fight against forest fires.