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Skógareldar: Stærsta björgunaraðgerð EU slökkvistarfs úr lofti í Grikklandi

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To tackle the biggest wildfires ever recorded in the EU, the Commission’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre has mobilised 11 firefighting planes and 1 helicopter from the rescEU reserve, stationed in six member states. In addition, six European countries have contributed with six ground forest fire fighting teams via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. So far, over 81,000 hectares have been burnt in Greece’s Alexandroupolis region. This wildfire is the largest in the EU since 2000, when the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) began recording data.

Síðan Grikkland virkjaði almannavarnarkerfi ESB, í annað sinn í sumar, 20. ágúst, hefur ESB sent 11 RescEU slökkviflugvélar staðsettar í Króatíu, Kýpur, Frakklandi Þýskalandi, Spáni og Svíþjóð, 1 Blackhawk þyrla frá Tékklandi, 407 slökkviliðsmenn og 62 farartæki frá Búlgaríu, Kýpur, Tékklandi, Frakklandi Rúmeníu, Serbíu og Slóvakíu. 

In addition, the EU’s Copernicus satellite mapping serviced as issued 20 maps of the affected areas. This assistance follows the EU’s prompt reaction to Greece’s earlier activation of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. Last month, a coordinated deployment involving nine planes, 510 firefighters, and 117 vehicles was launched to tackle the escalating wildfires.

Crisis Management Commissioner Janez Lenarčič said: “We stand in solidarity with Greece as it battles the devastating wildfires. The European Union’s largest aerial firefighting operation underscores our commitment to swift and effective collective action in times of crisis. Our thoughts are with the people of Greece, and we will continue working tirelessly to protect lives, property, and the environment. The EU’s unity and cooperation are our strongest assets in overcoming these challenges.”

The EU Civil Protection Mechanism has also been essential in the response to this weekend’s explosion in Romania. 12 severe burn patients were transported to Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy, and Norway, answering in full to Romania’s request for assistance.

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