By Deirdre Tynan • 09 August 2021 • 11:48
Forest fires in Greece.
The EU Civil Protection Mechanism, including Spain, continues to channel support to help combat unprecedented forest fires in Greece and the rest of the Mediterranean.
Following requests from Greece, North Macedonia, Albania, Italy and Turkey, the European Union has now helped mobilise 14 firefighting planes, three helicopters, some 1,300 rescuers and 250 vehicles.
In Greece alone, nine planes, close to 1,000 fire fighters and 200 vehicles are currently being deployed. The latest offers over the weekend came from France, Germany, Poland, Austria and Slovakia, who are sending ground firefighting units. They will join forces already operating in the country including ground firefighting units from Cyprus, France, Czechia and Romania as well as planes from Cyprus, Sweden, France, Croatia and Spain.
This comes in addition to help already deployed last week to help fight forest fires in Italy, Albania and North Macedonia including two Canadair firefighting airplanes from France which were sent to affected areas in Italy and two helicopters to support operations in Albania which were equally dispatched from Czechia and the Netherlands.
Ground forces from Slovenia, Bulgaria and Austria which were deployed to help North Macedonia. On Saturday, August 7, Romania sent an additional plane.
Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic said, “We are mobilising one of Europe’s biggest ever common firefighting operations as multiple fires affect several countries simultaneously. This shows the need to prioritise crisis response also at European level.
“The EU stands in full solidarity with Greece, North Macedonia, Albania, Italy and Turkey, at this difficult time. I am very thankful to all the countries who have offered help for their tangible solidarity. Our thoughts are with all those affected and with the first responders who are risking their lives to battle the fires,” he added on August 9.
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Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.
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