EU offers firefighters to help battle Canada blazes

AFP , Thursday 8 Jun 2023

EU nations offered to send nearly 300 firefighters to help Canada battle blazes that have shrouded US cities in smoke, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said Thursday.

Canada Wildfire
This handout image provided by the BC Wildfire Service on June 7, 2023, shows smoke from the West Kiskatinaw River and Peavine Creek wildfires in the Dawson Creek Zone, British Colombia, Canada. AFP


Smoke from the wildfires choked New York in a record-breaking apocalyptic smog Wednesday as cities along the US East Coast issued air pollution warnings and thousands evacuated their homes in Canada.

"Canada has requested support from the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, and we are responding promptly," von der Leyen tweeted.

"France, Portugal and Spain are offering the help of more than 280 firefighters. More will come," she added.

The devastating fires have displaced more than 20,000 people and scorched about 3.8 million hectares of land in Canada, where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described this wildfire season as the country's worst ever.

More than 100 million people across the northeastern United States, and extending west to Chicago and south to Atlanta, were under pollution warnings after the smoke drifted hundreds of miles from Canada, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said.

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