Australian helicopters arrive in Greece to help for third fire season

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Six specialist fire fighting helicopters from the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia have arrived in Greece for their third fire season.

The helicopters have been contracted by McDermott Aviation and will soon be joined in Greece by the company’s pilots and engineers.

According to the Australian Embassy in Greece, pilots and water bombers from Kennedy Air in rural New South Wales have also arrived in Greece to help with the upcoming fire season.

This comes as Greece has confirmed it will purchase 15 more helicopters this year to strengthen its aerial firefighting ability to 93 aircrafts from 78 in 2021.

Last year, McDermott Aviation was also asked by Greek industrial conglomerate, Mytilineos, to supply four Australian water-bombing helicopters and 20 crew to help fight the devastating fires which ripped through Evia island.

READ MORE: Australian helicopters arrive in Athens and prepare to fight wildfires across Greece.

At the time, Vivian Bouzali, General Manager of Communications and Strategic Marketing at Mytilineos, told The Greek Herald the helicopters would remain in Greece “until the last spark that threatens our homeland goes out.”

Australian crew and helicopters in Greece in 2021.

Greece experienced a devastating fire season in 2021, burning roughly 309,000 acres of bushland and devastating people’s homes.

After 155 flight hours, 986 water-bombing operations and more than 2,460 tonnes of water dropped, the Australian helicopters were redeployed back to Australia from Greece.

READ MORE: Water bombers and crew return to Australia after fighting wildfires across Greece.

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