A lull in the wind aids firefighters in Greece

A fire burns near Nea Makri village north of Athens on Monday. Photo: Yiorgos Karahalis

A decrease in the wind speeds has given firefighters in Greece a chance to gain more containment over some of the fires that have burned into the northern edges of Athens, the nation’s capital. But thousands of residents in the suburbs had to evacuate as dozens of houses were burnt.

Air tankers from several countries are helping to fight the fires. A state of emergency was declared in eastern Attica over the weekend, where fires have burned numerous homes and blackened 30,000 acres.

According to DW-World.de:

In addition, the European Union mobilized two further planes from its European tactical reserve of fire-fighting aircraft (EUFFTR), said Mann. Established to assist EU member states that face major fires, the EUFFTR makes planes available during the summer in a project costing 3.5 million euros ($5 million).

The EU and EU countries have sent in planes to help put out the flames

“They are being financed by the EU and have been leased from July 1 to September 30,” Mann said. “The idea is to help member states with their own efforts.”

The two EU fire fighting planes are stationed on Corsica, putting them close to both France and Italy and almost exactly halfway between Lisbon and Athens, according to the European Commission.

The planes have already been dispatched five times this summer; most recently to battle the fires in Portugal a few weeks ago.

This video has some good fire footage, including an aerial firefighting tactic not seen in the United States, that of two air tankers making drops in tandem, one right after the other.


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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.