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News / Forest fires: The EU continues to mobilise assistance for the Western Balkans
The EU Civil Protection Mechanism continues to channel support to help combat unprecedented forest fires in the Western Balkans and the rest of the Mediterranean. Following requests from Albania, Greece, Italy, North Macedonia, 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 Austria, France, Germany, Poland, and Slovakia, who are sending ground firefighting units. This comes in addition to help already deployed last week to help fight forest fires in Albania, Italy,and North Macedonia.
Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, 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 Albania, Greece, Italy, North Macedonia, and Turkey, at this difficult time.”
In addition, the EU’s emergency Copernicus satellite is helping to provide damage assessment maps of the affected areas in Greece and North Macedonia. The European Union’s 24/7 Emergency Response Coordination Centre is in regular contact with the relevant national authorities to closely monitor the situation and channel the EU’s assistance.
Source: European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
Photo credits: European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
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