The European Commission said on Thursday that over 200 firefighters and technical equipment will be sent to Greece by the European Union's civil protection mechanism during the entire fire-risk season of 2022.
Coordinated by the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, the firefighters and equipment will come from Bulgaria, Finland, France, Germany, Norway and Romania to support Greek first responders in the event of large-scale forest fires.
Commenting on the assistance, Crisis Management Commissioner Janez Lenarcic said, "It is clear that we are facing a global climate change, and that this demands a common response from us Europeans."
"In August 2021, Greece experienced approximately 65 simultaneous forest fires per day, with average temperatures often above 40°C.
"Together with the Greek authorities, we have therefore agreed on the standby presence of more than 200 highly qualified firefighters from all over our continent to support national first responders when fires break out.
"This will not only allow for a quick response, but also to ensure an important exchange of practices for all the firefighters involved, and I thank all the countries participating in this operation."
This enhanced cooperation of the European fire services with Greece follows the particularly fierce and devastating 2021 wildfire season, the Commission said, on top of EU measures in preparedness for forest fires.
The latter also includes the fleet of rescEU water bomber planes made available to EU member states and states participating in the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.
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