Wildfires: Largest rescEU aerial firefighting operation in Greece

To tackle the wildfires in Greece, the biggest ever recorded in the EU, the European Commission’s (EC) Emergency Response Coordination Centre has mobilised 11 firefighting aircraft and a helicopter from the rescEU reserve, stationed in six EU countries, the EC said on August 29.

In addition, six European countries have contributed six ground forest fire fighting teams via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, the EC said.

So far, more than 81 000 hectares have been burnt in Greece’s Alexandroupolis region.

This wildfire is the largest in the EU since 2000, when the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) began recording data.

Since Greece activated the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, for the second time this summer, on August 20, the EU has deployed 11 rescEU firefighting airplanes stationed in Croatia, Cyprus, France Germany, Spain and Sweden, a Blackhawk helicopter from Czechia, 407 fire fighters and 62 vehicles from Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czechia, France Romania, Serbia and Slovakia.

In addition, the EU’s Copernicus satellite mapping serviced as issued 20 maps of the affected areas.

This assistance follows the EU’s prompt reaction to Greece’s earlier activation of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

Last month, a coordinated deployment involving nine aircraft, 510 firefighters, and 117 vehicles was launched to tackle the escalating wildfires.

(Photo: EC Audiovisual Service)

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