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NATO deploys 40 firefighting planes in Greece
NATO has deployed in record time 40 firefighting aircraft to Greece to help the country fight the fires. Among them are 29 firefighting helicopters and, for the first time ever, 11 firefighting planes.
This is the 11th consecutive year that NSPA supplies Greece with firefighting aircraft. The various aircraft will be deployed in 20 different strategic locations throughout Greece.
This comes on top of the help provided by the EU's Emergency Response Coordination Center (ERCC), which this year, for the first time, deployed 204 firefighters from other EU member states to Greece.
ERCC's reserve of 12 firefighting aircraft, which are also on loan from member states, are currently deployed in other European countries fighting fires, including Albania, Portugal, Spain, France, the Czech Republic and Slovenia.
By July 30, nearly 600,000 hectares had already been burnt across the EU by wildfires, data from the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) shows.
This is the second highest figure observed for any year since records began in 2006 after 2017, when nearly one million hectares were reduced to ash.
More frequent and more severe heatwaves across Europe due to climate change are fueling wildfires. Drought conditions, which are affecting around half of the EU territory, are also facilitating their spread.