Forest fires in Greece: EU mobilises firefighting assistance

The EU civil protection mechanism is channelling support to help combat forest fires in Greece, which is currently facing a very intense wildfire season as the country faces the longest heatwave in its recorded history, a statement by the Council of the EU said on July 24.

Following a request from the Greek authorities, the European Union and its member states have mobilised aircraft from the rescEU fleet based in France and Italy, and firefighting teams, including emergency vehicles, helicopters and hundreds of firefighters.

In addition, the EU’s emergency Copernicus satellite is helping to provide damage assessment maps of the affected areas, the statement said.

The EU’s 24/7 emergency response coordination centre is in regular contact with the Greek authorities to closely monitor the situation and channel EU assistance.

The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry’s situation centre said on July 24 that that the fire service of Greece reported a fire that broke out in the afternoon hours of July 23 in a forest area in the area of ​​Loutses on the island of Corfu which has reached large proportions, threatening the settlements in the northeastern part of the island.

So far, no damage to houses or other buildings has been reported on the island of Corfu, the situation centre said.

A significant ground force has been deployed to deal with the fire, reinforced with personnel from mainland Greece, with four fixed-wing aircraft and three helicopters involved in extinguishing the fire, the statement said.

(© Photo courtesy of the civil protection teams deployed via the EU civil protection mechanism )

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