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Mitsotakis-Kyriakos
Φωτο: Γραφείο Πρωθυπουργού, ΑΠΕ

Mitsotakis: Greece is ready ahead of summer wildfires season

The premier was informed of extensive preventive cleanups and removal of accumulated biomass fuel from sensitive forest ecosystems. He was also told of the significant increase of ground and air surveillance at high-risk areas, to prevent arson and provide timely fire alerts.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was briefed on the country's readiness ahead of the summer wildfires season, in a broad meeting he chaired at the Climate Change & Civil Protection Ministry on Thursday.

The premier was informed of extensive preventive cleanups and removal of accumulated biomass fuel from sensitive forest ecosystems. He was also told of the significant increase of ground and air surveillance at high-risk areas, to prevent arson and provide timely fire alerts.

In high-risk areas, Greek armed forces will take on patrolling tasks, especially in areas under greatest threat, freeing up valuable human resources in the Fire Brigade and the police.  

Air patrols with Air Tractor and PZL water-bombing aircraft will also be increased over forest areas when fire risk alerts are high, while financial resources from the EU's civil protection rescEU have also been effectively absorbed, it was noted.

The Fire Brigade is being reinforced with another 500 staff the Special Forest Operations Firefighters (EMODE) force. The number of EMODE personnel will total 590, including 90 specially trained firefighters.

Additionally, Greece will host in advance, for the first time, firefighters from six European countries: Bulgaria, Romania, Germany, France, Finland, and Norway. They will be stationed in Athens, Larissa and Tripoli.

Finally, the closest collaboration between central and local government authorities is expected to play a key role in preventing wildfires this coming summer, it was added.

Apart from Climate Change & Civil Protection Minister Christos Stylianides, the meeting was attended by several ministers, Hellenic National Defence General Staff Chief General Konstantinos Floros, and heads of the Hellenic Police and the Fire Brigade.

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