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A helicopter with water bombing equipment flies above a heavily forested hillside that is on fire.

EU doubles firefighting fleet for summer 2023 wildfire season

By Knowledge Network – Staff memberPublished on

The EU is doubling the rescEU firefighting fleet as part of a package of measures to tackle wildfires this summer.


The EU is doubling of the rescEU aerial firefighting fleet for this year’s wildfire season, responding to the intensifying need for forest and wildfire fighting capacities. 

2022 was the second worst wildfire season in Europe and if conditions seen in the early months of 2023 continue, this year may be be as bad.

The rescEU firefighting aircraft reserve has 28 aircraft: 24 airplanes and four helicopters from 10 UCPM Member States.

The EU has also taken other measures to be ready for the 2023 forest fire season:

  • Almost 450 firefighters will be prepositioned in France, Greece, and Portugal, to be already in the right place when wildfires strike.
  • A Wildfires Support Team within the Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) for increased monitoring and analysis of the wildfire situation during the summer months. 
  •  Wildfire Prevention Action Plan including the Wildfire Peer Review Assessment Framework to support countries in their wildfire prevention and preparedness.