Romania sends dozens of firefighters to France to battle wildfires

Romania has sent a team of 77 firefighters to France help battle several wildfires raging there.

Two C-17 military aircraft carrying 17 trucks and dozens of firefighters left Bucharest and Timișoara late Thursday, the government said.

More than 360 firefighters and 100 specialized land vehicles were sent from Germany, Romania, Greece, Poland and Austria arrived as a laze ravaged pine forests near the Atlantic coast, forcing thousands of residents to evacuate.

Wildfires are scorching thousands of hectares of tinder-dry brush and destroying homes in Spain, Portugal and France.

They are joining over 1,000 French firefighters already on site.

The arrival comes after France sent a request for help through the European Civil Protection Mechanism.

The European Commission has dispatched four airplanes from its EU firefighting fleet in Greece and Sweden.

The firefighters’ brigade from the French Gironde region said the spread of the forest fire was limited overnight due to little wind but conditions for containing the blaze remained “unfavorable” due to hot, dry weather.

The fire in the Gironde region and neighboring Landes has engulfed more than 74 square kilometers since Tuesday. At least 10,000 people have been evacuated.

More than 600 square kilometers of forest land has burned since the start of the year in France, more than any other year in the past decade, according to the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS).

Romania also sent firefighters to Greece this year to tackle wildfires.

„Romania stands by France, our traditional partner and friend,” Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca said in a tweet.

French President Emmanuel Macron and French firefighters welcomed the help.

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