EU to deploy hundreds of firefighters to vulnerable states ahead of wildfire season

Firefighters operate during a wildfire in Vati village, on Rhodes island, Greece, 26 July 2023. [Lefteris Damianidis/EPA]

European Union plans for the upcoming wildfire season include the deployment of hundreds of firefighters to the most vulnerable member states, as well as the creation of a firefighting aircraft fleet. 

Specifically, 556 firefighters from 12 countries will be strategically prepositioned across key locations in Europe this summer, such as France, Greece, Portugal and Spain, ready to help local fire services in combating wildfires. 

Furthermore, the EU has assembled a dedicated rescEU fleet of firefighting aircraft for this summer, consisting of 28 airplanes and four helicopters stationed in ten member states. 

Greece will contribute four medium amphibious airplanes, two light planes and one helicopter to the rescEU fleet. 

The Commission has also allocated a total of 600 million euros to fund the future acquisition of 12 new firefighting planes, which will...

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