European Union sending firefighting support to Greece

Evia fire

Evia fire

Greece’s Civil Protection Secretary General confirmed that the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism have sent air assistance to fight a fire in central Evia that continues to rage out of control and has led to the evacuation of four villages.

Officials in the morning said that the situation is better than before, after firefighters spent the night battling flames.

According to sources, a volunteer firefighter was reportedly burned and was transported to a hospital in Athens. There have been no reports of houses been destroyed, only some vehicles.

As previously reported by Greek City Times, the fire which broke out in the early hours yesterday in Evia’s pine forest covered parts of the island with dense smoke that was carried by the wind as far as Athens.

The EU arranged for the provision of firefighting airplanes for when requested in disasters by fellow members, especially fires, known as "RescEU".

Nine water dropping helicopters and seven firefighting aircrafts have resumed operation, alongside two aircrafts from Italy. Two more aircraft are expected to arrive from Spain, while Croatia who initially had responded and was going to send two aircrafts, did not send them as the country was facing a huge fire risk. Other EU members are expected to respond also.

Meanwhile the European Commissioner for Humanitarian Help and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides said, "We are mobilising the rescEU assets to respond to Greece activation of the European Civil Protection Mechanism. The EU stands by Greece at this difficult time."