The European Commission has helped mobilise two firefighting planes from Italy via the EU's Civil Protection Mechanism, following a request for assistance from Sweden due to the very high forest fire risk that the country is facing.
In 2001, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism was established to foster cooperation among civil protection authorities across Europe. The Mechanism currently has 34 participating states which consists of 28 EU member states plus Iceland, Norway, Serbia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, and Turkey.
This is the second time this summer Sweden has asked for support, due to heavy fires this year. In addition, the EU's emergency Copernicus Satellite mapping system has been activated to help the Swedish civil protection authorities.
"The European Union stands in full solidarity with Sweden. Our thoughts are with all the people affected and also with first responders and the firefighters working to tackle the fires. I thank Italy for its immediate offer of two planes. This is solidarity in a Europe that protects," said Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides. "The planes will arrive tonight and start operating immediately and continue to do so as long as necessary."
The planes will arrive tonight and start operating immediately and continue to do so as long as necessary. The Commission's Emergency Response Coordination Centre is closely monitoring the situation in Sweden and the forest fire risk across Europe.