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Wildfires: EU mobilizes five additional rescEU airplanes for Greece as well as more firefighters

As new devastating wildfires burn in different areas of Greece, the EU is swiftly mobilising additional firefighting resources to aid the ongoing efforts of Greek firefighters. Five rescEU firefighting airplanes stationed in Croatia, Germany and Sweden, and one Blackhawk helicopter, 58 firefighters and nine water tanks from Czechia are on their way to Greece today. This assistance comes in addition to the aerial and ground means from Cyprus and Romania that arrived in Greece on 22 August.

Over the last two days, the EU has deployed seven airplanes, one helicopter, 114 firefighters and 19 vehicles to assist Greek firefighters, volunteers and police in fighting the massive wildfires. In addition, the EU Copernicus satellite mapping programme has already produced two maps of the affected areas and two Liaison Officers from the EU’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre are also on their way to Greece.

Crisis Management Commissioner Janez Lenarčič said: “Greece is witnessing an unprecedented scale of wildfire devastation this summer and in such trying times the EU’s swift assistance is vital. Today, we can see the real-life significance of having doubled our rescEU aerial firefighting fleet for this wildfire season. I extend my heartfelt appreciation to Croatia, Czechia, Germany and Sweden for their support in aiding the Greek firefighters already valiantly battling the flames. The EU maintains its commitment to standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Greece in the face of these devastating wildfires.”

This collaborative effort follows the EU’s prompt reaction to Greece’s earlier activation of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. Last month, a coordinated deployment involving 9 planes, 510 firefighters, and 117 vehicles was launched to tackle the escalating wildfires.

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