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Greece to buy seven Canadian water bombers for wildfires

By AFP

March 26, 2024 01:00 PM


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Greece and Canada, which have each suffered major forest fires in recent years, announced Monday they hoped to strengthen cooperation on emergency preparedness and confirmed Athens's purchase of seven Canadian water bombers.

The year 2023 was the worst for wildfires in both countries, as well as the deadliest year this century for forest fires globally.

"These aircraft will help fight devastating forest fires that are increasingly ravaging areas of Southern Europe," the two countries' prime ministers said in a joint statement.

Greece will "purchase and acquire seven state-of-the-art DHC-515 firefighting aircraft," they said.

The De Havilland aircraft, launched by the company in 2022, will be built in the western Canadian city of Calgary.

The Greek government indicated last week that the first two planes would be delivered in 2027.

The planes will make up the bulk of Greece's aging fleet in which many planes are over 30 years old and malfunctions are common.

In terms of forest fires, nearly 175,000 hectares (432,000 acres) were ravaged last year in Greece and over 20 people killed, according to the national observatory.

Canada also experienced a historic fire season with more than 18 million hectares burned and 200,000 displaced.


AFP


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