The deployment of Federal Humanitarian Aid and the Swiss Army to fight the fires in Greece has been completed.
The Swiss helicopters flew a total of 226 rotations and threw over 386 tons of water on the fires, announced the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) on Sunday.
On Monday, the entire detachment will return to Switzerland, as the Federal Department of Defense, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS) announced on Twitter.
In response to an official request for help from the Greek authorities, Switzerland sent three Super Puma helicopters to Greece to fight fires on Saturday a week ago. The helicopters and their crews carried out fire-fighting tasks mainly on the island of Evia and the Peloponnese. According to the announcement, they completed a total of 75.5 flight hours.
Thanks to Swiss support, several fires could have been extinguished or contained and many people’s property saved from the flames, writes the FDFA. The cooperation with those responsible for the mission and the partners on site worked very well.
The costs of the assignment are covered by existing funds from the FDFA and the DDPS. According to its own information, Switzerland continues to closely monitor the fire situation in southern Europe and the Balkans. Potential engagements are being examined on an ongoing basis and Switzerland is ready to provide support wherever possible and upon request, writes the FDFA.
The fires in Greece are now under control and largely extinguished, but the security forces remain on alert. According to the Greek fire brigade, another 51 forest fires broke out from Friday to Saturday morning. The Greek civil defense indicates the fire risk in large parts of the country as “high” to “very high”.
Hundreds of firefighters are therefore still on alert, especially in the previously badly affected areas in northern Athens, on the island of Evia and the Peloponnese peninsula. The regions are also monitored from the air, the fire department said.