On Sunday 12 February, the Chilean government offered an act of recognition to the firefighters of the European Union who collaborated in the fight against the devastating fires that razed several regions of Chile in the last few weeks. "Thank you for the delivery of assistance. Your spirit gave us strength" said the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs Heraldo Muñoz during the ceremony.
The European Union activated its European Civil Protection Mechanism (EUCPM) to assist Chile with the worst forest fires in 50 years. The fires caused multiple casualties and widespread damage, particularly in central and southern areas of the country. Due to international support to Chile, all the forest fires are under control, as no further assistance is needed. This photo story shows the firefighters leaving Chile and heading back to Europe.
Fourteen EUCP Mechanism experts facilitated the coordination of three national teams from Europe. Sixty-nine firefighters from France and 52 firefighters from Portugal were deployed in the Bió Bió province, and 56 firefighters from Spain were deployed the Maule province.
Text by Olivier Coste.