This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
On Wednesday 25 March, two 7 Flight AAC Bell 212 helicopters from the British Garrison were mobilised to help support the Belait District’s Disaster Management Centre’s fire fighting efforts. This followed a request from the Brunei Fire and Rescue Department to the British Defence Adviser to Brunei Darussalam, Colonel Mike Page RM. Efforts to fight the fire from the land had been hampered by lack of access to the forest area of Mumong Highway in Kuala Belait.
British Defence Adviser, Colonel Mike Page said:
Of course when I received the request for assistance from Belait’s District Disaster Management Centre, British Forces Brunei responded immediately. 7 Flight Army Air Corps launched two Bell 212 helicopters to support the fire fighting effort.
One helicopter attacked the fire using its capability to dispense 1000 litres of water from an under slung “bambi” bucket whilst the other helicopter provided aerial reconnaissance. From his vantage point in the helicopter, the Fire and Rescue Department commander was able to assess the situation from the air, identify the existing fire break and direct operations on the ground.
Colonel Mike Page added:
We will continue to support the local authorities for as long as they need assistance, both with our helicopters in the air and, if called for, on the ground with Gurhkas from the Garrison who are on standby for fire fighting.
Garrison aerial assistance continued until just before last light at 5.45pm on 25 March.
The assistance is in support of BFRD’s cross country mobilisation of fire fighters. The Royal Brunei Police Force is also heavily involved in traffic control and cordon, to prevent vehicles and people entering the area, with daily highway closure to allow fire fighters to operate safely and unhindered.