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Secretary of state Arafat: Romania to dispatch rapid response teams to France to fight wildfires

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Raed Arafat

The Romanian government on Thursday decided to grant emergency external humanitarian aid to France to fight wildfires in the form of a rapid response land module.

Seven firefighting officers and 70 non-commissioned firefighting officers with the General Emergency Management Inspectorate (IGSU) from several counties and 17 response vehicles have been mobilised to that end.

After consulting with President Klaus Iohannis, Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca on Thursday asked the National Emergency Management Committee (CNSU) to convene at the proposal of the Emergency Management Department (DSU).

The aid will be granted based on a request for international assistance submitted by the French Government through the European Civil Protection Mechanism, Agerpres.

"Yesterday, the French Government's request for air and ground support to fight fires, especially around the Bordeaux area, as France is facing several outbreaks of serious wildfires, was posted. (...) Air support in the form of planes was offered by other countries, including Greece, which is also facing wildfires. (...) For the land part, following the discussions, (...) we agreed that we can offer a response module. (...) IGSU has mobilised response teams consisting of seven officers and 70 non-commissioned officers, in addition to 17 response vehicles that include at least eight vehicles able to put out fires, plus two water tanks and other means of response necessary for the firefighters in such situation," head of the DSU Raed Arafat said at the Government House.

He added the response teams will be flown in by two C17 planes, which will take over the components from Bucharest and Timisoara. The two aircraft are from the Papa Air Base in Hungary, a NATO body that provides strategic air transport. They will be used with the support of the Romanian Ministry of National Defence.

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