While flames engulf the Gironde, as well as Portugal or Spain, the European Commission is pledging to increase the number of aircraft in the RescEU fleet, which aims to fight fires in Europe.
The European fleet of anti-fire aircraft will be reinforced. INTERVIEW BY REUTERSEuropean Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic announced that the European Commission is in talks with aircraft manufacturers to purchase new extinguishing devices.
“These planes will technically be purchased by the member states but will be 100% financed by the European Union,” he said, declining to give more details about the contracts.
Concretely, they will supply the RescEU fleet, which was created in 2019 and which then consists of 7 aircraft and 6 helicopters. It was completed again last year with 5 more aircraft due to intervene across Europe in case of emergency. On July 15, France, for example, activated this mutual aid system, which led to the arrival of Greek and Italian planes in France.
French Canadian Renewal
Therefore, this combined fleet will take on a new dimension in the coming years when fires will spread to a large part of Europe.
The question is more pressing in France because the Canadians who used it are getting older. Two-thirds of the 12 French aircraft are over 25 years old. In theory, they have no limits on mechanical or technical obsolescence but their maintenance is more expensive, So much so, that a 2019 Senate report encouraged the fleet’s renewal.
Therefore regeneration can be done within the framework of the rescue unit to facilitate interventions in the field.
Europeans can also rely on another advanced tool, the Copernicus satellite program responsible for monitoring the state of the Earth. This data provides accurate maps of the territory to better understand wildfires.