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UPDATED: EU supports Sweden in combatting ongoing forest fires

©EU/ECHO
©EU/ECHO
07/08/2014

The European Commission's Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) is facilitating the urgent provision of assistance to extinguish the forest fires raging in Sweden. Fire-fighting aircraft were offered by Italy, France and Spain to be deployed to the affected areas and five planes have been dispatched to Sweden.

So far these five aircarft have completed 120 water drops onto the burning areas, the equivalent of 660 tonnes of water.

On Sunday evening, Sweden requested assistance through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to fight forest fires raging in the mid-eastern part of the country. The request triggered a rapid reaction from the ERCC which immediately alerted the civil protection authorities of all the countries participating in the Mechanism.

The ERCC is actively monitoring the forest fire risks and evolution across Europe. It uses national monitoring services and tools such as EFFIS (the European Forest Fire Information System) and satellite imagery to provide an overview of the situation in Europe. 

Background

The European Civil Protection Mechanism facilitates cooperation in disaster response among 31 European states: 28 EU Member States, Iceland, Norway and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (which is currently renewing its membership). The participating countries pool the resources that can be made available to disaster-stricken countries all over the world. When activated, the Mechanism coordinates the provision of assistance inside and outside the European Union.