EU coordinates help to fight forest fires in Greece

Tuesday, 26 August 2014 14:52 GMT


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Yesterday evening, Greece requested assistance through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to fight forest fires raging in the central part of the country. France has responded in a matter of hours and its two fire-fighting planes are already on the way to Greece and will have reached the affected areas this afternoon.

The fire that broke out on 24 August in a forest region near Kalabaka, central Greece, has burnt around 400 hectares of land and is still active. In response, Greece has also activated the satellite imagery service of the European Commission.

The EU Emergency Response and Coordiantion Centre (ERCC) is actively monitoring forest fire risks across Europe. It uses national monitoring services and tools such as EFFIS (the European Forest Fire Information System) and satellite imagery to provide an overview of the situation in Europe. Every summer, it holds a weekly videoconference with national authorities from countries at greatest risk of forest fires.

Read more stories from the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) here.