The EU Takes Measures to Combat Forest Fires
The European Commission announced the establishment of a fleet of specialized planes to combat forest fires this summer. So far, seven firefighter planes and six helicopters will be part of the fleet, the commission said, quoted by BTA.
Five EU countries, often suffering from forest fires in recent years, have placed their available aircraft at commission’s disposal - Croatia (2 airplanes), France (1 aircraft), Italy and Spain (2 airplanes), Sweden (6 helicopters ).
In recent years Europe has suffered serious disasters - forest fires, floods, storms and earthquakes. These events led to more than 100 human deaths last year. Until now, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism was based on a system to coordinate the deployment of the voluntary assistance provided by the participating countries to the country requesting support. Proposals for assistance are coordinated by a center in Brussels.
In recent years, bad weather and emerging threats have challenged the ability of EU countries to help each other, especially when several countries face the same type of disaster at the same time. When there are limited or missing response opportunities, the EU hasn’t got enough reserves to support the countries in trouble, the EC said.
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