Albania on Fire as EU Civil Protection Mechanism Announced Support

In an optimistic note Defense Ministry said on Thursday that there are six fires still active from 13 ones blazing Albania for more than ten days in a situation of torching weather conditions.
Defense Minister Niko Peleshi met with the national Civil Defense Committee in the early hours of Thursday announcing that the fire flames did not affect the military Pashaliman Base but work is underway to prevent the blaze spreading to Dukat Mountain and Llogara National Park, southern Albania as the situation is considered to be out of control because Albanian firefighters do not have the equipment to fight the blaze, particularly on difficult terrain.
The Minister Peleshi said that Albania has one helicopter that can carry 2000 liters of water.
The Director of the Civil Protection Agency Haki Cako demanded international cooperation, echoing the calls of the President. He also noted that some of the fires had been started deliberately.
Peleshi said he has spoken to colleagues in Croatia and Kosovo, who have pledged assistance if needed. Italy has also said it will offer the use of three helicopters to help extinguish the fire in Karaburun.
President Ilir Meta said that the situation is “fluctuating” and that the Albanian authorities should turn to the European Civil Protection Mechanism for help.
In the northern part of the country, a new fire exploded around midnight on Thursday near Shkodra city. One fire was isolated in Dibra, and another one is still burning in Fushë Arrëz, said the announcement of the ministry.
The remaining active fires are concentrated in villages around Gjirokastra and Mallakastra, southern Albania which is the worst hit area of the fires.
The European Union Civil Protection Mechanism announced that two helicopters will be sent from the Netherlands and the Czech Republic to support operations. They are expected to arrive on Saturday, and Albanian authorities have praised that action. /