Foreign firefighters arrive in Greece for summer wildfire season

Athens (Reuters) – Dozens of Romanian and Bulgarian firefighters took their positions in Greece on Saturday, with the first European troops deployed to provide backup copies of major wildfires during the summer.

More than 200 firefighters and equipment from Bulgaria, France, Germany, Romania, Norway and Finland are on standby in Greece during the hottest months of July and August.

28 Romanian firefighters with eight vehicles, and 16 Bulgarian firefighters arrived in four vehicles for the first time in a two-month mission funded by the European Union.

“We are very grateful that they came to our aid during a difficult summer for our country and for making sure that the EU is not only a concept, but also a reality,” said Greek Minister of Civil Defense Christos Stilianides on Saturday. Romanian Mission in Athens.

“When things get tough, we can save lives and property with our Greek firefighters.”

Bulgarian firefighters are stationed in Larissa, central Greece.

Last summer’s wildfires destroyed nearly 300,000 acres (121,000 hectares) of forest and forest land in various parts of Greece.

Following sharp criticism of its response to the blaze, the Greek government has promised to establish a new Ministry of Civil Defense to increase its fire protection capabilities.

In the winter of 2018, a fire in the coastal city of Matthias and nearby areas killed 102 people.

(Reporting by FB Frentista, edited by Angelica Quantum, edited by Helen Popper)

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