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Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) has deployed a Mi-17 helicopter to assist with attempts to douse a forest fire rapidly spreading through the Knuckles reserve.

The helicopter, equipped with a 2600 litre bambi bucket, left the Ratmalana airport this afternoon and is headed toward Hunnasgiriya, the air force said.

The Disaster Management Center (DMC) says that the fire has already destroyed over 100 acres of land and that extinguishing the flames has proven difficult due to the prevailing dry weather condition in the area.