International response to forest fires in southern Europe

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Four killed in Cyprus as ‘highly destructive’ forest fire rages on
Fires are raging across southern Europe. Image: Twitter

As forest fires continue across various regions in the Mediterranean and the Western Balkans, the EU is swiftly mobilising support to assist countries in limiting the spread of the fires and protect lives and livelihoods.

Two Canadair firefighting airplanes from France are being sent to affected areas in Italy to start firefighting operations today, two firefighting planes from Cyprus are supporting Greece, on top of a firefighting team to support operations on the ground.

In addition, two helicopters to support operations in Albania will be dispatched from Czechia and the Netherlands and Slovenia is sending a team of 45 firefighters to North Macedonia.

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All help is mobilised through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, with co-funding by the Commission of at least 75 per cent of transport costs.

Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic said, “We are working around the clock to send help as fires rage across Europe. I thank Cyprus, Czechia, France, Slovenia and the Netherlands for swiftly deploying firefighting airplanes, helicopters and a team of firefighters to support countries heavily affected by forest fires. At this time as several Mediterranean countries are facing fires, EU Civil Protection makes sure that our firefighting tools in place are used at maximum capacity. This is an excellent example of EU solidarity in times of need.”

The deployments come in addition to EU-coordinated firefighting operations that are currently ongoing in Turkey, as well as in Sardinia, Italy at the end of July. Satellite maps from the EU’s Copernicus Emergency Management satellite are providing further support to the emergency services to coordinate the operations.



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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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