Largest aerial firefighting force
2000000000 acre(s)
Russian Federation ()
The world's largest aerial firefighting force is the Avialesookhrana of Russia. The force was established in 1931 and was the first of its kind in the world. There are currently 4,000 'smokejumpers' in the force, who rappel from helicopters or planes into the burning area. The force covers a forested area of 2 billion acres (809 million ha). The Avialesookhrana's equipment is very basic, the deathtoll very high, but they are very successful. On average there are between 15,000-30,000 fires per year, of which 85% are identified and 65% are extinguished. With 340 bases, the force covers 11 time zones in the Boreal forest, with the whole operation costing $32 million (£20.7 mlllion) per year.