Firefighting fleet launched to tackle natural disasters

EPA/GREGÓRIO CUNHA

Forest fire in Funchal, Madeira Island, Portugal, 09 August 2016. The fire has led to the evacuation of 400 people. Portugal remains on high alert as a wave of wildfires has swept the country with around 350 isolated fires affecting swathes of the countryside.

Firefighting fleet launched to tackle natural disasters


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To prepare for the risk of forest fires during the upcoming summer, the Commission is launching the first fleet of firefighting aircraft under the new rescEU system to tackle natural disasters.
So far, seven firefighting airplanes and six helicopters will be part of the rescEU fleet during an initial transition period, and the Commission is working together with the participating countries to add extra assets in the coming weeks. In the past months, several field exercises on forest fires were held. All Member States and their partner countries participated in the annual forest fire meeting in Brussels to prepare for the next forest fire season.
In recent years, there were extreme weather conditions and new emerging threats. In addition to the creation of the rescEU fleet, the European Commission is reinforcing its monitoring and coordination capacities as well.

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