Forest fires: EU mobilises assistance for Portugal

The European Commission has mobilised two firefighting airplanes to support Portugal with the ongoing wildfire emergency. Following the country’s request for assistance, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism has facilitated the immediate pre-positioning and then deployment of two Canadairs from Greece, which are currently operating in the most affected districts in northern Portugal. On this occasion, Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič said: “As wildfires continue to threaten people and resources across our continent, we need to stay alert and ready to deploy assistance as rapidly as possible from fire breakouts. We stand in solidarity with Portugal facing this emergency and have mobilised planes from Greece who are putting European solidarity into action.” The EU’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre stands in close contact with Portuguese authorities to support the coordination of firefighting operations in the area and mobilise further assistance in case of need. In addition, the EU’s Copernicus satellite service has been activated to collect data vital to first responders on the areas burned.