This article originally appeared on Wildfire Today.
Above: A fire is approaching Llico, a small village near the Pacific Ocean about 130 air miles southwest of Santiago, Chile.
The 747 Supertanker had a productive day Friday in Chile. They completed four missions and were taxiing to take off on another when the lead plane pilot called saying smoke had degraded visibility making another drop impossible.
Elena Carretero, who has been associated with the flight crew, said one of the drops in the morning helped protect the lives of five firefighters who were in imminent threat of being overrun by a fire.
All of these photos were taken from the 747 by the drop system operator, Don Paulsen. The images of the fire were shot just before 6 p.m. local time on Friday near Llico, a small village near the Pacific coast about 130 air miles (209 km) southwest of Santiago, Chile (map). Elena told us the village was in danger, like the five firefighters, of being overrun by the fire until the SuperTanker used all 19,200 gallons of water to make one long drop between the fire and the village, saving it.
Fire Aviation has more information about the SuperTanker’s mission in Chile.