Egypt sends 2 helicopters to help control Greece’s wildfire

Daily News Egypt
3 Min Read

The Egyptian Armed Forces sent, on Saturday, two Chinook helicopters carrying advanced equipment, to help in controlling the wildfire in Greece, under the directives of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, Armed Forces spokesperson Gharib Abdel Hafez said.

Greece is battling massive fires across the country, which have burned down houses and prompted mass evacuations, amid one of the worst heat waves the country has seen in 40 years. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the fires showed “the reality of climate change”.

Hundreds of residents have been evacuated from towns north of the Greek capital, Athens, as wildfires spread across the country.

At least 20 people have been treated for injuries. Two firefighters were in intensive care in Athens, while another two were hospitalized with light burns.

Hundreds of firefighters are trying to control the fires with about 20 water-bombing aircraft. Also firefighters and planes are being sent in from countries including the UK, France and the US.

However, the strong winds and high temperatures are making it difficult to control the blazes, which have killed at least two people, including a firefighter.

Civil Protection chief Nikos Hardalias was quoted by media as saying “over the past few days we have been facing a situation without precedent in our country, in the intensity and wide distribution of the wildfires, and the new outbreaks all over (Greece)”.

The causes of the fires are under investigation. Hardalias said three people were arrested Friday, in the greater Athens area, on suspicion of starting blazes, in two cases intentionally.

 Police said the suspect detained north of Athens had allegedly lit fires at three separate spots in the area ravaged by the large blaze, which first broke out Tuesday.

European officials have blamed climate change for the multiple fires burning through southern Europe, from southern Italy to the Balkans, Greece, and Turkey.

In Italy, firefighters battling a wildfire in the province of Reggio Calabria found the bodies of a man and a woman in an olive grove. LaPresse news agency said they died of smoke inhalation.

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