EU experiencing worst forest fires since records began in 200d

The European Union (EU) is experiencing the worst forest fires at this time of the year since joint records started in 2006, the European Commission said.

“We are facing a difficult summer in Europe, with so far this year more than 700,000 hectares burned,” dpa news agency quoted Janez Lenarcic, European commissioner for crisis management, as saying in a statement.

France and Spain are among the countries particularly badly hit this year.

France has already lost twice the area to forest fires this year than in 2021, Spain more than three times, according to EU figures.

Five different countries have called on other EU states for help since the beginning of the summer to fight blazes, according to the commission.

This led to nearly 370 firefighters, 29 aircraft and eight helicopters being deployed across Europe to respond to emergencies.

Additionally, 150 firefighters from Bulgaria, Romania, Germany, France, Finland and Norway are supporting local first responders Greece in July and August.

After particularly devastating fire seasons in recent years, the EU has been working to improve its capacities to respond to large fires quicker and across borders.

EU countries can call for help to combat forest fires through the co-called EU Civil Protection Mechanism, a platform to coordinate and share emergency resources.

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