Singapore Chinook copters to head back after fire fighting mission in Chiang Mai

SINGAPORE - Singapore military personnel will be returning after a two-week mission in northern Thailand where they helped to douse forest fires, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said on Tuesday.

Singapore's two Chinook helicopters dropped more than 200,000 litres of water over burning forests in Chiang Mai province, Dr Ng said.

"After almost two weeks, the SAF and Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) have concluded firefighting operations in northern Thailand. In all, our Chinooks flew 17 sorties over 35 hours and dropped over 200,000L of water," he wrote on Facebook.


Haze affects northern Thailand from January to April each year as farmers burn the land to clear scrub or agricultural waste.

About 50 officers from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and SCDF have been in Thailand since March 18. They used a 5,000-litre water bucket to scoop water from the sea, which is released over hotspots, while enduring haze and heat from the blazing forests.

With fewer hotspots, the haze in Chiang Mai has lifted, Dr Ng said on Tuesday.

He thanked the officers involved in the operation, and put up a video of the team in action in another Facebook post.


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