Spain Sends Firefighting Planes to Tunisia

Military firefighters fighting fires - IMAGE Spanish Ministry of Defence

SPAIN is no stranger to forest fires, and the extreme heat this summer has already seen a few fires spreading in different parts of Spain and other European countries.

Today, July 25, Spain will send two firefighting planes to help Tunisia battle the raging fires ravaging the country. Tunisia has requested assistance from the European Union Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) to battle the fires.

Fires From Algeria Spread to Tunisia

Algeria has been fighting to contain the forest fires that began on Monday from spreading along the Mediterranean coast. The fire has already killed 34 people, including 10 soldiers, and 1,500 people have been evacuated from their homes.

Algerian firefighting services are struggling to control the blaze but announced today that the 8,000 firefighters have managed to contain four-fifths of the fires. However, the strong winds have spread the fires to neighbouring Tunisia, and two borders between the countries have already been closed due to the fires.

Spain’s Military Response to the Fires

In coordination with the Ministry of Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenges, the Ministry of Defence has dispatched two “RescEU” planes to Tunisia, in addition to 27 military personnel made up of technicians and liaison personnel from the Military Emergency Unit (UME) to assist.

An A400 plane will fly the necessary personnel and equipment to Tunisia, according to the Ministry.

The deployment of the planes was sent in response to Tunisia’s request through the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism, which Brussels amended in 2019 to reinforce its capacity to manage natural disasters and risk. Member states have also sent firefighting aircraft, helicopters and personnel when a country is unable to deal with an emergency with their national forces.

In 2021, Spain sent a plane to Turkey and Greece to assist in previous forest fires. This year, devastating fires have ravaged Greece, Spain, Algeria and Tunisia this summer.

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Written by

Lisa Zeffertt

Lisa is British, born in Hong Kong and has lived in many countries including the UK, Hong Kong, Cyprus, and Thailand, Spain has been her home for the past 10 years. After graduating with a BA in English Literature and Art History, she has worked in different sectors, most recently as a ghostwriter and translator for six years Writing is one of her passions, as well as working in both Spanish (fluent) and English.