Welcome Address - Preparing for More & Worse Forest Fires at EU Level: The Union Civil Protection Mechanism
19 May 2022
Extreme weather events are becoming increasingly common. Climate change is heavily impacting the occurrence, severity and behavior of disasters, including forest fires. More fires occur at the same time and over larger geographical areas. This changing risk landscape requires investment at all levels in adequate aerial forest fire fighting means to provide a prompt response to such emergencies. In relation to the forest fires season in 2021, the Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM) has received numerous requests for assistance from EU Member States and third countries, leading to the largest EU forest fire fighting operations in the history of the UCPM. The Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) is accelerating work on the roll-out of a rescEU fleet of forest fire fighting aircraft to respond to forest fires in the future and is launching new initiatives to step up contingency planning and preparedness for the 2022 season.