Turkish firefighters with support from Croatia, Spain, Ukraine, Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran have been fighting forest fires on the southern coast of Turkey for eight days. Polish firefighters and policemen will join the firefighting action. The head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zbigniew Rau, expressed his readiness to help Greece, which is also struggling with the heatwave and the fires caused by it.
As reported by the State Fire Service, the Turkish side asked Poland for support in fighting the fires that this country has been struggling with for over a week. The PSP said that preparations are currently underway for a group of 14 people – six PSP firefighters and eight policemen, as well as a Black Hawk police and PSP car, including an operational support team of firefighters and policemen to help contain the fires.
On Thursday evening, it was announced that the first to set off on Friday was road transport. The car from the State Fire Service Headquarters will be transported to Turkey by three rescuers of the State Fire Service – it will be a driver, a group commander and a helicopter rescuer – operator.
A tank for extinguishing fires from the air, the so-called bambi bucket with a capacity of 1.5 thousand. liters and a larger such tank with a capacity of 3 thousand. liters, as well as a repair kit for tanks and a repair kit for a helicopter in case of failure. PSP informs that this group, along with the equipment, will provide logistic and operational support on site.
In turn, the helicopter’s departure is scheduled for Saturday at 4 am from the Warsaw Babice airport. “There will be eight policemen on board, including four pilots and four mechanical engineers and three PSP lifeguards – high-altitude lifeguards, as well as a bambi bucket tank with a capacity of 1.5 thousand liters. The planned arrival in Turkey – Antalya will take place on Saturday approx. at 21 due to the necessity of stopovers for refueling “- it was informed.
Cause of fires in Turkey unknown
Turkish firefighters with support from Croatia, Spain, Ukraine, Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran have been fighting forest fires on the southern coast of Turkey for eight days. Aid has also been declared by Greece, with Turkey having strained diplomatic relations. So far, eight people have died from fires and hundreds of people have been injured.
The causes of the fires are not exactly known. As the fire appeared in several places simultaneously, the Turkish authorities decided that it could not be ruled out that it was set on purpose. Turkish authorities have often blamed Kurdish fighters for the previous fires.
Rau is ready to help Greece
Fires are also raging in Greece. Greek firefighters fought on Thursday to contain two large fires raging near Olympia in the Peloponnese and on Euboea in the Aegean Sea as the country is struggling with a record heatwave. More than 170 firefighters, around 50 trucks, six helicopters and fireplanes have been deployed near the ancient archaeological site, the birthplace of the Olympic Games, AFP reports.
A similar number of firefighters also fought to contain a fire on Evia Island, some 200 km east of Athens. At least 150 houses were destroyed on the island, and a fire surrounded the monastery and a dozen villages. Two more villages were evacuated on Thursday morning, the ANA news agency said.
The head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zbigniew Rau, in an interview with the head of Greek diplomacy, Nikos Dendias, expressed his appreciation for all those fighting the fires in Greece and expressed Poland’s readiness to provide aid, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed.
“Greece, like other southern European countries, is fighting the heatwave and the fires caused by them. In an interview with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, Minister Zbigniew Rau expressed his appreciation for the actions of all those fighting against the element. He also confirmed Poland’s readiness to help” – we read on Twitter of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Main photo source: ALI BALLI / PAP / EPA