Athens – More than 200 firefighters arrived in Athens to help their Greek counterparts fight wildfires.
The 28 Romanian firefighters were welcomed on Saturday by Climate Crisis and Civil Defense Minister Christo Stilianides and the Greek Fire Service.
“Romania is delighted to be joining the pre-deployment program with its unique fire brigade,” said Romanian team leader Colonel Alexandro-Adrian Silic. We already have experience here in Greece.
The Romanians, along with other countries, including Russia and Turkey, helped Greece fight the August 2021 wildfires that ravaged the northern part of Greece, the second largest island in the country, and the southern Peloponnese peninsula.
This year, the European Union has launched a “preliminary pilot project” designed to guide the EU’s permanent cooperation program.
We are increasing our readiness for the # Forest Forest season in Europe. “As of today, +200 (firefighters) are strategically stationed in Greece around Europe. Before the fire goes out of control, they will be in Greece to join the national forces,” said Janice Lenarsich, who took over as European Crisis Administrator for Stilianides on Friday.
The Romanian fire brigade, which has five fire engines, will operate until July 31 in Attica, which includes the capital Athens.
On Friday, July 15, an equal number of Romanian firefighters were relieved. They will be replaced by a strong French team in August.
Four firefighters from 16 Bulgarian firefighters arrived in Larissa, central Greece, on Friday and were welcomed by local officials and firefighters. The Bulgarians will remain in the area in July.
On July 15, 16, German firefighters begin work in Peloponnese; At the beginning of August they will be replaced by 14 Norwegian and 24 Finnish firefighters, who will be relieved once in mid-August, by their equal numbers.
Extreme fires are common in Greece, with the help of hot and dry weather and frequent strong winds. Climate change means that wildfires are also prolonged.
Greek officials say higher fuel costs have increased the challenge of firefighting services in the mountainous country to fight fires.
Greece will start using fire-fighting chemicals this year and will also use fire extinguishers to fight large fires.
Four of the six foreign leaders witnessed a live fire drill west of Athens on Thursday. The German and Norwegian team leaders watched the exercise online.
According to a study by a coalition of international research institutes, the spread of wildfires and increasing fires have a negative impact on efforts to curb carbon dioxide emissions because forests are depleted and absorb carbon dioxide. According to the study, the intensity of wildfires may increase over time.
Leftis Pitrakis contributed to this report.
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