EDIT2:(some more description)
I'm not the owner of the swimming pool, I just live next door :). The pilot told me that the owner is entitled to compensation for damages or lost water if he files a complaint with the Civil Defense, which my neighbor didn't, AFAIK. He explained that filling at swimming pools is only done as a last resort (but not illegal in Portugal) because of the risks involved (children playing, damage to property, flying debris such as garden furniture, etc), but he did so on this case because there were houses in danger and the water source was so convenient.
You can see another angle here:
He also detailed the operation a little bit more: he was returning to the airfield from another bushfire when he saw the initial smoke column. He took the initiative to land and start the attack on his own since the fire was so close to houses. He made about 25 refills at the swimming pool, and this bucket carries about 600 liters, if I remember correctly. The swimming pool level lowered not even 40 cm after the mission. The helicopter left when the first firetruck arrived, the fire having already been extinguished.
EDIT: I became friends with the pilot flying on the video, he has a very nice onboard video from another mission here:
PORTUGUÊS: No dia 29 de Julho de 2011 este helicóptero aterrou em frente a minha casa, deixando no solo uma equipa de bombeiros helitransportados, que penduraram o balde de combate a incêndio que se vê na imagem debaixo da fuselagem e prosseguiram para combater as chamas a pé. O piloto do helicóptero decidiu bombardear o fogo com água de uma piscina próxima. O combate ao incêndio durou cerca de 20 minutos, após o que as chamas estavam controladas. O helicóptero aterrou de novo para recolher a equipa de terra quando chegou um carro-bomba para fazer o rescaldo do incêndio. Conheci posteriormente o piloto do helicóptero, que me explicou os detalhes da operação. Tem um vídeo muito bom captado a bordo da aeronave, noutro incêndio, em:
ORIGINAL DESCRIPTION: I woke up this morning to this show. A loaded helo (Eurocopter AS350) from the portuguese firefighters landed in front of my house, droped 5 men in full gear, hooked up a bucket and started waterbombing a fire that broke out (or someone started, most likely) right next to a neighbor's house. After 20 mins the fire was controlled by a 6 men team :).
Many thanks to the unseen team on the ground, for risking their lives to save other's property.
Filmed in Braga, Portugal
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