Finland offering assistance to Greece for combating forest fires
MINISTRY FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
MINISTRY OF THE INTERIOR
Press release 156/2007
27 August 2007
According to current information, the Finnish citizens in Greece are safe in spite of the forest fires still blazing in the area. The Finnish Embassy in Athens will continue its close cooperation with the Finnish travel organisers operating in the area.
Greece has requested assistance through the EU because of the serious forest fire situation. The highest demand has been for heavy fire fighting equipment, which Finland does not possess. The forest fire situation in Greece has been getting worse all the time, and the need for fire fighting resources is expected to continue for quite some time.
Finland has decided to offer assistance of the following variety:
- Three fire fighting helicopters, capable of carrying approximately 600-800 litres of water at a time.
- Forest fire experts to assist in fire fighting and containment of fires.
- A Finnish Rescue Force (FRF) platoon (about 25 men) to assist in fire fighting and containment of fires.
Finland will offer the assistance to Greece through the EU, and it will be deployed if the Greek authorities consider it suitable for the purpose.
Finland is also exploring the possibility of offering expertise for post-fire rehabilitation of the local nature and considering the possibility of offering Finnish expert assistance for reforestation of the burned areas in cooperation with the Greek authorities.
Additional information: Director Pasi Tuominen, Unit for Consular Services, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 40 578 8185, Director Janne Koivukoski, Rescue Services Unit, Ministry for the Interior, tel. +358 9 1604 2962