Emergency plan for summer fires

Emergency plan for summer fires

With summer fast approaching, civil protection authorities have drafted an emergency plan for 18 parts of Attica as well as 13 area in the wider region that are deemed high risk for fires and have inadequate escape routes.

The plan envisages, among other initiatives, clearing forests of dry brush and other flammable materials, opening escape routes and updating existing plans.

These areas are towns and villages in suburban forests, without sufficient road networks for the escape of those at risk in case of fire. They include, among others, Ippokrateios Politeia, Schinias, Tatoi and Porto Germeno. 

The initiatives were decided during a meeting on Monday chaired by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis with the participation of local government bodies, Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis and Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias. Further details of the plan will be determined in a new meeting of representatives of local government and civil protection on Thursday. 

Meanwhile, civil protection authorities have reportedly drafted a multi-million euro plan envisaging the purchase of new firefighting aircraft as well as the modernization of existing ones. 

More specifically, following negotiations within the framework of the European Union’s RescEU program, Greece will proceed with the purchase of eight new Canadair CL 515s. The costs for six of them will be covered by national resources while the rest will be footed by the EU fund. What’s more, there is a plan to upgrade the fleet’s Canadair CL 415s and convert them to 515s.

The number of medium-sized firefighting helicopters (Kamov) remains unchanged, while six amphibious aircraft will be added with water tanks with a capacity of 3.5 tons of water and the possibility of autonomy for up to 5 hours.

They will be used in pilot form this year and there are thoughts to purchase a total of 36 such aircraft, replacing the old Pezetels. The Fire Brigade has also leased a Russian firefighting aircraft with a capacity of 12 tons of water or retardant liquid used in large-scale fires. 

Moreover, 10 Erickson-type helicopters will be operated this year instead of nine as was the case last year, while a technical base for helicopters will be established in Thessaloniki. 

The overall cost of the plan is set at 330 million euros.

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