August 8, 2022

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Area Control Network News | Breaking News

European firefighters arrive in Athens to help Greece with potential summer wildfires

The first of multiple European firefighter teams began operations in Athens on Saturday, as part of a move by the European Union (EU) to pre-emptively station firefighters in Greece to be prepared for any summer blazes.

A cohort of 28 firefighters from Romania with eight vehicles, as well as 16 firefighters from Bulgaria with four vehicles, were the first to arrive for the 60-day mission. The Romanians will be stationed in Athens, while the Bulgarian firefighters will be in Larissa of central Greece.

Greece’s Civil Protection and Climate Crisis Minister Christos Stylianides thanked the firefighters for coming during a “difficult” summer and showing that European solidarity “is not just theoretical.”

More than 200 firefighters and equipment from Bulgaria, Finland, France, Germany, Romania and Norway will be stationed in Greece to provide immediate support for wildfires. The assistance, financed and co-ordinated under the EU’s civil protection mechanism, will come on top of firefighting aircraft available to EU countries under the bloc’s reserve of resources.

Greece is on alert this year after the country was wracked by several blazes on multiple fronts last year that raged for weeks, burning down homes and hundreds of thousands of acres of forest following the worst heatwave in decades.

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