Two scooping aircraft sent to forest fires in Greece
Several serious forest fire are raging in Greece. Greece has requested international assistance through the EU's civil protection cooperation, rescEU. The EU has requested that Sweden send two of the scooping aircraft on standby for EU operations. Sweden has confirmed via MSB that the aircraft are available and Greece has accepted the offer.
The aircraft departed Sweden early this morning. The flight will be made in several stages.
“We consider it a matter of course to provide support to Greece, through the EU cooperation. It feels extra good to be able to offer it given the support we received from the EU in 2018,” says Nils Vaernholt at MSB's Response and Operations Department.
Continued high preparedness in Sweden
Sweden's fire preparedness is primarily handled by the local rescue service, which can, if necessary, request additional support from the remaining flying resources, one scooping aircraft and up to ten helicopters.
“When we make the assessment to deploy aircraft, it is always contingent on having a high level of preparedness in Sweden. Once we have ensured that, we see what capability we have to support other countries, in this case Greece. The strength of the joint EU cooperation is that we use our resources in an efficient manner and cooperate and help each other, both within the EU and with our Nordic neighbours,” says Carl Lindberg, Project Manager at MSB's Response and Operations Department.
Facts - What Sweden and MSB provide
Scooping aircraft with associated crew are made available to Greece through rescEU and the civil protection mechanism. The scooping aircraft are part of rescEU, which is an additional safety net with common EU resources. Sweden has been part of rescEU since 2019.
The project is funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of MSB only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or European Commission. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.
Latest reviewed: 22 August 2023