Two Russian rescue helicopters travel to France to help extinguish fires

Two Russian helicopters, owned by the Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations, are currently waiting at the Ramenskoye airport near Moscow waiting to be transported to France, where they will be used to fight the forest fires. As a Rosbalt correspondent was informed today by the Russian ministry's press office, their French colleagues requested their assistance several days ago. The two helicopters are capable of carrying up to 12 tonnes of water. At the present time there are about four thousand French firefighters working in the area between Sainte Maxime and Saint Tropez as well as firefighters from Italy, Spain and Greece. Two fire-fighting helicopters are expected to arrive today from Canada. The Russian helicopters will be transported to France tonight or tomorrow morning.

The fires have caused the deaths of 10 tourists from Great Britain, Holland and Poland. In addition, 17 firefighters have received burns and over twenty thousand tourists have had to be evacuated. 19 thousand hectares of forest have already been destroyed.

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