On 21 Feb 17, Mi-17 V5 helicopters of IAF doused fire in an operation at Mukkunimala Hill which is located 10 km east of airfield at Trivandrum. An Air Force radar is also located on hill top at Mukkunimala. Due to lack of rain in the region, first forest fire occurred in the hills on 18 Feb 17. The same was put off by employing domestic Fire Tenders of IAF and Kerala Fire Service. The fire, however, continued to reoccur due to thick and dry vegetation. On 21 Feb 17 Kerala State Government requested IAF for assistance in terms of employing helicopters to douse the forest fire at Mukkunimala.
Two Mi-17 V5 helicopters which undertook the operation, flew a total of five sorties in Bambi bucket configuration and dropped 62050 litres of water to douse the forest fire. By evening the fire was fully doused.
Forest fire fighting operation undertaken by IAF Mi-17 V5 helicopters in Mukkunimala hill near Tambaram