Forty firefighters from the Civil Protection Department (CPD) and two voluntary groups will be sent to Greece to help control wildfires ravaging the country.

This is the second time Maltese firefighters are being sent to Greece in as many years.

The Civil Protection Department will send 38 firefighters, and St John Ambulance and Rescue and the E.F.R.U will send one volunteer each.

They will be based in Patras and work in two groups, the first between July 15 to 31, and the second from July 31 to August 15.

Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri met the firefighters on Thursday and said the experience gained by the first, much smaller group last year was invaluable. 

He said that despite the deployment, the Civil Protection Department had sufficient resources to deal with any emergencies which could develop in Malta.   

CPD head Peter Paul Coleiro said that almost all of the department's firefighters had volunteered for the mission in Greece, making selection a difficult one.  

Head of CPD Peter Paul Coleiro Photo:Jonathan BorgHead of CPD Peter Paul Coleiro Photo:Jonathan Borg

He said the team sent last year had worked in very difficult circumstances but had been praised by the Greek authorities.

Greece has seen a series of wildfires on the back of the earliest heatwave on record, with temperatures hitting 44°C.

Less than two weeks ago, the Fire Danger Forecast Map issued by the Greek Civil Protection Ministry predicted a very high Category 4 risk of fire for Attica, the Peloponnese, Crete, the North and South Aegean Regions, and Central Greece. Patras, where the local teams are being dispatched to, forms part of the Peloponnese region. 

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