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European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
Nyhedsartikel8. juni 2023Generaldirektoratet for Civilbeskyttelse og Humanitære Bistandsforanstaltninger på Europæisk Plan (ECHO)

Wildfires: almost 300 European firefighters mobilised to support Canada

French ground firefighting teams
© European Union, 2022

To tackle the worst wildfires in the last 10 years, Canada has activated the EU Civil Protection Mechanism requesting European assistance.

In an immediate response, France, Portugal and Spain have offered almost 300 firefighters via the Mechanism. An expert from the EU’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) will also be deployed to help coordinate the European level response.

Numerous wildfires have been burning across Canada since May with unusual reach and intensity burning about 4.1 million hectares so far, an area as big as the Netherlands.

The smoke from these wildfires is spreading also to cities in the United States, emitting 10 times more CO2 than average.

More than 20,000 people have been evacuated across Canada.

“Wildfires are clearly becoming more frequent and more disastrous across the world, threatening lives and burning areas that take longer to fully recover. I thank France, Portugal and Spain for coming to Canada’s assistance at a time when Europe is also at high fire risk.European solidarity is global,”  said Commissioner Janez Lenarčič.

Earlier this year France, Spain and Portugal had also sent around 300 firefighters via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to fight wildfires in Chile.

The ERCC remains in close contact with the Canadian authorities and is ready to channel further assistance.