A forest fire in Greece is the “largest wildfire ever recorded” in the European Union, as the bloc is preparing to mobilise nearly half its firefighting air wing to tackle it.
The European Commission said 11 planes and one helicopter have been sent to help Greece counter fires in the Dadia National Park. Another 407 firefighters have also been sent.
Greece’s fire service said the fire could still not be controlled in a reserve within the forest. The reserve spans nearly 10 kilometres and serves as a major sanctuary for birds of prey.
The EU currently calls on a fleet of 28 aircraft – 24 water-dumping planes and four helicopters – supplied by member countries to help battle blazes in the bloc and in nearby neighbours.
“We do know that fires are getting more severe,” Ujvari noted.
“If you look at the figures every year in the past years, we are seeing trends which are not necessarily favourable, and that calls for of course more capacities at the member states’ level.”
Greece has been facing intense wildfires all summer, which the government attributes to climate change.
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