A Canadair crashed on the island of Euboea, Greece, on Tuesday July 25, while trying to put out a fire. Both pilots of the water bomber plane died.

[Updated July 25, 2023 11:07 PM] Two pilots of a Canadair died on Tuesday July 25 while battling fires in the south of the island of Euboea in Greece. The death of the two men, members of the country’s air force, has been confirmed by the Greek Ministry of Defense, reports Franceinfo. The water bomber plane crashed near Platanisto, a village on the island. Footage of the crash was broadcast by Greek public broadcaster ERT. Emmanuel Macron reacted to this crash, Tuesday, July 25, in a message posted on Twitter: “Engaged against the flames, a Greek Canadair crashed on the island of Euboea. Our thoughts are with the relatives of the crew, their comrades and the Greek people. Support for the heroes who, in Greece, in France, everywhere, fight every summer at the risk of their lives in the face of fires”.

The Greek Prime Minister took to Twitter to pay tribute to the two pilots killed in action: “They gave their lives, saving lives. Proving how risky their daily firefighting missions are”, a- he writes. Greek Defense Minister Nikos Dendias also announced a three-day mourning in the armed forces following the Canadair crash.

For more than a week, fires have ravaged thousands of hectares of forest in Greece, forcing thousands of people to evacuate their homes. Greece has been facing fires and scorching temperatures for more than ten days. In 24 hours, Tuesday July 25, 53 fires broke out in Rhodes and Corfu, reports BFM TV. According to the Copernicus agency, more than 13,000 hectares have burned in Rhodes, a particularly touristic region. Greek firefighters are more than ever hard at work fighting these fires. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said he was preparing for a “difficult summer”. “The battle will always be difficult, because we are suffering the effects of the climate crisis”, he said Monday, July 24 before a council of ministers, in remarks taken up by TF1.

The drought and extreme heat of the past few days have helped the flames spread. The Greek government received the reinforcement of several planes and firefighters from several countries to help the Greek relief forces. The situation is still critical due to the maintenance of temperatures above 40 degrees and the wind which facilitates the spread of fires. Temperatures are expected to drop from Thursday July 27.