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EU supports Sweden in combating forest fires

EU supports Sweden in combating forest fires
04/08/2014  - 

The European Commission is facilitating the urgent provision of assistance to extinguish the forest fires raging in Sweden. Fire-fighting airplanes, offered by Italy and France, are on their way to the affected areas. Greece and the EU's Copernicus programme are helping with maps.

Sweden activated the Union Civil Protection Mechanism on Sunday night to fight the forest fires in the mid-eastern part of the country. By Monday morning, the Commission's Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) had received several offers of assistance. The most suitable have been accepted.

"I express my sincere gratitude to the Italian and French authorities for providing swift support to Sweden in this moment of need," said Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva. "Forest fires are a risk we tend to associate primarily with Southern Europe, but we are seeing that no country is immune. With risk like this increasing, it makes all the more sense for countries to help each other through the European Union. With the Emergency Response Coordination Centre, we help make sure that mutual assistance gets to where it is needed quickly and efficiently."

The ERCC is actively monitoring forest fire risks and developments across Europe and gives Member States a regular update on the situation.