The Israeli Air Force’s “Super Hercules” transport plane (known locally as Samson) was brought in to help put an end to the wildfire that’s been burning on the outskirts of Yerushalayim for three days, according to media reports.
It’s the first time the plane has been enlisted in firefighting, and on Tuesday evening was dumping large quantities of retardant on the still-burning areas.
The Super Hercules has a capacity far greater than standard firefighting planes. It can hold up to 4,755 gallons of firefighting materials, compared to only 792 gallons in other planes. An army spokesman said the plane has dropped some 16 tons of flame retardant chemicals in the remaining hotspots.
“This is a historical and complex trial for dealing with firefighting efforts in Israel,” said the Fire and Rescue Services in a statement. “The use of the ‘Samson’ aircraft will allow in the future for an improved response to large-scale fires as well as around the clock efforts when needed.”