Authorities announced today that the Meradalaleið (Hiking Trail E) would be closed so that firefighting teams could transport equipment. The eruption site was still accessible from Suðurstrandarvegur (the South Coast Road). Meradalaleið has since been reopened.
RÚV reports that tanker trucks will be employed for the first time today. Previously, water had been transported to the eruption site by helicopter.
The new tankers will be of great use to the teams at the site, able to transport some eight to ten thousand litres of water per trip. The helicopter previously in use had only been able to carry one to two thousand litres per trip.
Einar Sveinn Jónsson, the chief of the Grindavík Fire Department, stated to RÚV:
“We are heading up the mountain and are planning to try to tackle this with the tankers. We have about six to eight vehicles shuttling water up, in addition to personnel and shovels to help if we need to clear stones. It’s a major operation today.”
So far, some 400 hectares (988 acres) of moss have been destroyed by wildfires in the area.
The Grindavík Fire Department is also receiving significant assistance from both ICE-SAR and neighbouring fire departments.