Egypt to send Chinook helicopters to help in fighting Greece wildfires

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The Egyptian Armed Forces announced on Sunday that they are preparing to send three Chinook helicopters to Greece to help in fighting forest fires.

The helicopters are equipped with advanced equipment required to help put out the fires raging in a number of forests in Greece, Egyptian Armed Forces’ Spokesman Gharib Abdel-Hafez said in a statement.

The Egyptian assistance comes in line with directives by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to assist friendly countries in the face of crises and difficulties, the spokesman added.

The support is also a confirmation of the deep historic relations binding Egypt and Greece, Abdel-Hafez affirmed.

Wildfires have been raging on the Greek island of Rhodes for the past five days, exacerbated by strong winds. Thousands of people, including tourists, have fled the affected villages and beaches close to the areas of Kiotari and Lardos in the southeastern part of the island.

Authorities have also urged another 1,000 people to evacuate the villages of Pefki, Lindos, and Kalathos as the fires approach, Reuters reported, citing fire brigade spokesperson Vassilis Vathrakogiannis.

The fires have continued to spread despite the efforts of firefighters assisted by water bombers and reinforcements from some countries, including Italy and France.

The Mediterranean, including Greece, has become a wildfire hotspot over the hotter and drier weather during summer time each year.