Cape Town fire: Viewers in awe

Image: Facebook/James Robinson

Cape Town fire: Viewers in awe of helicopter refilling its water bucket in SA [video]

A helicopter refilling its water bucket was spotted by eager residents during the recent Cape Town blaze.

Cape Town fire: Viewers in awe

Image: Facebook/James Robinson

Social media users were left in awe after James Robinson captured some incredible footage of a helicopter refilling its water buckets while fighting the Cape Town fire.

Helicopter refilling its water bucket during Cape Town fire

The footage shows the helicopter in close proximity presumably making its way down to the Cape Town city bowl reservoir to get water. Luckily, the fire was mostly put out on 20 April after three days with about four helicopters spotted in the sky fighting the blaze.

Thanks to the footage viewers can see the helicopter bucket – a specialised bucket suspended on a cable carried by a helicopter to deliver water for aerial firefighting – a little bit closer.

It is said that the size of each bucket is determined by the lifting capacity of the helicopter required to utilise each version. Some buckets vary in capacity from 273 to 9,842 litres.

Watch: Helicopter fighting CPT Blaze

Cape Town fire latest

Evacuated residents and students from the University of Cape Town (UCT) are now being urged to begin returning to their homes and residences (the latter of which under the guidance of the university) and assessments have begun to determine the extent of the damage to infrastructure around the affected areas. 

Firefighting efforts continue in areas including Deer Park and the Disa Park towers in Vredehoek, with crews in position to monitor possible flare-ups, but the City’s Fire & Rescue Services’ Jermaine Carelse said no homes are in immediate danger.

He has however urged the public to stay away from areas where fire crews remain poised to tackle any further threat. 

Advancements in helicopter refilling tanks

As of November 2020, advancements have been made in helicopter refilling tanks. In fact, the city of Laguna Beach in the United States held a demonstration for the latest addition to its wildfire mitigation plans, as two helicopters trained with a newly purchased water refilling tank.

The council opted to purchase the HeloPod dip tank from a shortlist of options presented at the meeting. The city marvelled at the rate at which the helicopters were able to suck up water through their snorkels during the demonstration.