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All-in Effort On Greece, Albania Fires

  • August 29th, 2011
  • Posted by EUEditor

forest-fires-eu-2011.jpgA pan-European effort is being made to control bad forest fires raging in Greece and Albania during the last week.

The European Commission has announced the two countries activated the international Civil Protection Mechanism, late last week, to request urgent aerial assistance.

It said that within a few hours its own Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC) was able to deliver a coordinated EU response with six fire-fighting aircraft from France, Italy and Spain.

It said that Greece has suffered large-scale forest fires in recent days in Alexandroupolis in the North-East of the country.

Due to extreme hot dry weather, the country has been facing more than 60 forest fires, including seven major ones.

An EC statement said countries within the EU, and also beyond its borders, if overwhelmed by natural and man-made disasters can, can call for help through its MIC .

Altogether 31 states are taking part in the scheme for coordinated mutual aid – the 27 members plus Croatia, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

Over the past two summers the Civil Protection Mechanism (CPM) has been activated 20 times to respond to forest fires inside and outside Europe, with Portugal, Greece, Italy and France being the most vulnerable.

See also, EUAustralia Online: “Fires: Athens under siege”, 24.8.09; “Summer Blazes”, 27.9.09.

Reference

Euroepan Commisison, Brussels, “Co-ordinated EU operation assists Greece and Albania in fighting forest fires”, IP/11/990, 26.8.11.

EC, Brussels, “Fighting forest fires in Europe – how it works”, MEMO/11/567, 26.8.11.

Picture ec

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