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French firefighters mobilised to fight fires in Amazon rainforest

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French firefighters mobilised to fight fires in Amazon rainforest
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Reuters
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France has offered to send a team of 40 firefighters supported by a team of six experts from the French civil protection to help fight forest fires in South America.

The French offer is complemented by four drones and associated operating personnel to help tackle the blazes burning in the Amazon border region of Bolivia and Brazil.

The move is being overseen by the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, which was activated following a request for help from Bolivia last week.

An EU Civil Protection Team, composed of seven experts from France, Spain and Denmark is also travelling to Bolivia along with a Liaison Officer from the EU Emergency Response Coordination Centre, which is based in Brussels.

“This is an example of global EU solidarity in action. Natural disasters know no borders and climate change is increasing their risks and impact. I am grateful to the EU Members States who have shown their support. The EU stands in solidarity with Bolivia and all countries in the Amazon region affected by these devastating fires,” said Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management.

In addition, the EU's emergency Copernicus satellite service is currently providing maps of areas hit by forest fires.