Continuing the Israeli tradition of international assistance in the face of natural disasters, firefighters from the Jewish state helped battle massive fires in Macedonia.
After Macedonia declared a state of emergency earlier this month based on a heatwave accompanied by raging wildfires, Israeli firefighters heeded the call, heading to the Balkan nation to get the blazes under control. As this week drew to a close, the Israeli firefighters concluded their work in Europe and prepared to return home.
The 30-day state of emergency was so severe that Macedonian Interior Minister Oliver Spasovskiby directed all of the nation’s available safety resources to the region threatened by the wildfires. While local firefighters and volunteers had tried to get a handle on the fires in several regions, the flames claimed at least one life and several buildings.
To assist in the efforts, the 22-member Israeli team arrived with two firefighting planes. The delegation used the planes to drop fire retardant to slow the spread of the flames.
Macedonia is not the only country in the region battling wildfires amid a heatwave in Europe that is so intense it has been dubbed “Lucifer.” Similar fires also broke out in Cyprus, Romania, and Bulgaria, where a number of people have died due to excessive heat.