In the afternoon of Tuesday 27th of July the Portuguese authorities requested assistance through the European Civil Protection Mechanism. Due to its present critical forest fire situation Portugal requested heavy aerial means for forest fire combat operations consisting of two water bomber planes. The request immediately triggered several offers of assistance by Italy, Greece and France. Spain had already assisted Portugal in fighting fires in the Viseu and Braga region.
The forest fire situation in Portugal was already critical but has become even more aggravated over the last days. On Tuesday Portugal had already registered a total of 350 forest fires and all national available means were in incessant use.
The weather forecast indicates a continuation of the present scenario, which increases the risk of forest fires: very high temperatures, low humidity levels and winds blowing from the east.
The Italian, Greek and French offer consisted of two water bomber planes each. Portugal accepted the Italian offer and these planes are expected to be in place and operational by the beginning of this afternoon. These planes will be based at the Ovar airbase in the North of Portugal.