Turkey to send 2 firefighting planes to Greece: FM Çavuşoğlu

Turkey will send two firefighting planes to Greece, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Monday in a telephone interview with his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias.

“I thanked him (Çavuşoğlu) when he informed me that two Turkish firefighting planes would be sent to Greece, because, he added, the forest fires in Turkey are now under control” , wrote Dendias on Twitter.

Firefighters and locals battled a massive wildfire on Greece’s second-largest island for a seventh day on Monday, struggling to save what they can from the flames that decimated vast swathes of virgin forest, destroyed homes and businesses and scares away thousands of people.

The blaze, which began on August 3, is the most serious of dozens that erupted across Greece last week after the country was baked by its worst heat wave in three decades that raised temperatures to 45 degrees Celsius (113 Fahrenheit) for days. The heat, which comes during a particularly hot summer, turned Greece’s forests, including large areas of easily flammable pine trees, into dry powder magazines.

The wildfires have strained Greece’s firefighting capabilities and the government has appealed for help from abroad. More than 20 countries in Europe and the Middle East responded by sending planes, helicopters, vehicles and labor.

Massive fires also raged for 13 days in neighboring Turkey, where firefighters were still trying to put out fires in two locations in the southwestern coastal province of Muğla.

“The situation is improving,” Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli said on Sunday. “It is too early to say the fires are under control, but we are reaching this point. “

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