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Slovenia helps Albania fight forest fires through EU mechanism for civil protection

An Albanian boy uses a branch in an effort to put out a blaze raging near the city of Memaliaj, , Albania on August 28, 2012 © Belga/AFP Photo/Gent Shkullaku
31/08/2012  - 

Slovenia has sent a fire-fighting helicopter to help Albania deal with the forest fires in the prefecture of Diber. The EU Civil Protection Mechanism, coordinated through the European Commission's Monitoring and Information Centre, has facilitated the operation.

Albania has been struggling with forest fires throughout the month of August and activated the EU Civil Protection Mechanism with a request for international assistance (aerial fire-fighting equipment). Slovenia's helicopter, capable of carrying 3.5 tonnes of water, has been deployed for a 6-day mission.

The European Commission stands ready to assist further in this joint operation; for instance, by coordinating other offers of support or co-financing assistance.