European Commission predicts “above average” fires in Europe

in News · 02-06-2020 15:54:00 · 1 Comments

The European Commission is predicting an “above average” forest fire season in Europe this summer, and highlights the European Union (EU) Civil Protection Mechanism, with a willingness to support Member States with air facilities.

“The first season of forest fires has already started in Europe. The projections we have point to an above-average time, both in terms of the number of fires and in the burnt area,” said European Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenar?i?.

Speaking at a press conference in Brussels on the proposed EU budget for 2021-2027, particularly with regard to the rescEU strategy, aimed at responding to natural disasters, Janez Lenar?i? said that the community executive is "prepared" to move forward with aid to Member States, particularly at a time when several European countries experience higher than usual temperatures.

According to the official, the European Commission has a “variety of aerial means” to fight forest fires, “which are available, if necessary, for when a Member State activates the EU Civil Protection Mechanism in case it is unable to respond to the challenges”.

"I would like to point out that the Civil Protection Mechanism [in which rescEU is integrated] continues to be relevant and was also relevant during the crisis generated by covid-19", said Janez Lenar?i?.

Also on 2 June, the European Commission has proposed strengthening the rescEU under the new multiannual framework, totalling two billion Euros in 2021-2027, to create strategic equipment reserves to cover health emergencies, forest fires, chemical, biological incidents, radiological or nuclear or other serious emergencies.

In all, Brussels wants a total budget for the EU Civil Protection Mechanism of more than €3.1 billion, but this allocation depends on the endorsement of the European leaders represented in the Council in the context of the negotiations on the new multiannual financial framework.

In Portugal, the forest firefighting device was reinforced again this Monday, 1 June, with more than 9,500 operational on the ground, but of the 60 air assets planned, seven light helicopters are still missing, awaiting the Court of Auditors' visa.

During this period, 9,512 operatives will be on the ground, comprising 2,205 teams and 2,236 vehicles of the various agents present in the field, in addition to 60 aerial means.

The means of combat will be reinforced again on 1 July, in the most critical phase of fires, being the period that mobilises the largest device and this year 11,825 operational personnel, 2,746 teams, 2,654 vehicles and 60 aerial means will be available.

The means are increased this year by 3 percent compared to 2019, namely with more rangers and forest sappers, and the aerial device is contracted for four years.


WHEN are you going to check your automated Portuguese to English translations for mistakes??? Reading your articles is a nightmare. Really puts your paper down.

By Peter Barz from Algarve on 04-06-2020 02:39
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