EU sends firefighting planes for Turkey wildfires

EU sends firefighting planes for Turkey wildfires

EU sends firefighting planes for Turkey wildfires

The European Commission is sending three firefighting planes to support Turkey's efforts in extinguishing the forest fires, the commission’s emergency response coordinator announced on Aug. 1.

"In an immediate response, the European Commission has already helped mobilize 1 Canadair plane from Croatia and 2 Canadairs from Spain. These firefighting aeroplanes are part of rescEU, the European reserve of civil protection assets," the European Commission said in a statement.

"The EU stands in full solidarity with Turkey at this very difficult time. I thank all the countries which have offered help," said EU Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic, adding they stand ready to provide further assistance.

In the meantime, Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares had a phone call with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu to convey the solidarity of Spain and the condolences for the victims of the fires that are devastating the south of the country.

The Spanish minister informed Çavuşoğlu about the decision of the Spanish Government to send two CL-415 firefighting planes and a C-295 transport plane of the Spanish Air Force, as well as a complete team of the Military Emergency Unit (UME), to assist in the extinction of the wildfires, according to the diplomatic sources.

The arrival of the aircraft, personnel and equipment will take place on Aug. 2 and Aug. 3.

For its part, Çavuşoğlu thanked his counterpart for Spain’s help to Turkey’s efforts to put out the fire, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.

Meanwhile, Azerbaijan dispatched another firefighting team early on Aug. 2 to support Turkey as it battles forest fires ravaging the country since July 28.

The support team arrived at Turkey’s border with Georgia and entered the country through the northeastern province of Artvin.

Consisting of 53 vehicles including 41 fire trucks and 220 personnel, the team was received by Turkish citizens who showed their appreciation for the Azerbaijani and Turkish flags.

After a fuel delivery, the team moved on towards the areas suffering from massive fires.

“We have come here with experienced colleagues to extinguish the fires,” said the chief of the team, Colonel Nazar Bagisov. “We stand with brotherly Turkey, and we will do so under all circumstances,” he added.

Except for the EU and Azerbaijan, Russian planes are used for firefighting in efforts to put out the fires through both aerial and ground operations.

According to previous reports, more than 1,100 pieces of equipment, including three Russian Be-200 amphibious aircraft, were involved in efforts to extinguish wildfires in Turkey.

Qatar and Iran also sent teams and equipment to Turkey to take part in search and rescue activities amid the forest fires.