On a fire that has consumed more than 300 square miles of land, the bloc sent eleven planes and helicopters to fight it.

According to a European Commission spokesperson, a forest fire in Greece is the largest wildfire ever seen in the EU, and the organisation is mobilising almost half of its firefighting air wing to combat it.

According to Balazs Ujvari, 407 firefighters and eleven aircraft from the EU fleet have been dispatched to assist in putting out the blaze north of Alexandroupoli.

More than 310 square miles (810 square kilometres), or an area larger than New York City, had been consumed by the fire, according to the EU's civil protection service.

“This wildfire is the largest in the EU since 2000 when the European Forest Fire Information System (Effis) began recording data,” the service said.

The fire was "still out of control," according to Greece's fire service, in the Dadia National Park, a crucial haven for raptor birds.

The blaze, which started on August 19, has claimed the lives of 20 people, 18 of whom were migrants whose bodies were discovered in a region frequently used as a point of entry from neighbouring Turkey.

To fight fires inside the EU and in neighbouring countries, the EU uses a fleet of 28 aircraft, including four helicopters and 24 water-dumping planes, that are provided by member states.

It is working on creating a standalone, EU-funded air wing of 12 aircraft that will be fully in place by 2030. “We do know that fires are getting more severe,” Ujvari said. “If you look at the figures every year in the past years, we are seeing trends that are not necessarily favourable, and that calls for, of course, more capacities at the member states’ level.”

The government and experts blame the climate crisis for the numerous fires that have ravaged Greece this summer.

The EU's crisis management commissioner, Janez Lenari, stated that the air deployment demonstrates the bloc's dedication to quick and decisive action when a crisis arises.


This recent catastrophic wildfire in Greece underscores the vital importance of advancing our fire safety initiatives. 

We will directly address such pressing concerns at the FIA Cyprus & Fire Summit on October 19th.  Interested in showcasing your solutions? 

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