Montenegro wildfires: Switzerland deploys a helicopter and sends a detachment

Bern, 19.07.2017 - Fires have been raging in Montenegro for several days, devastating a number of areas. The scale of the situation has led the country's authorities to ask for international assistance. Today, Switzerland is dispatching a Swiss army helicopter from the KFOR base in Kosovo and a humanitarian team from Bern.

Montenegro, along with other European countries, is currently experiencing large-scale wildfires. Dozens of hectares of forest have been destroyed and hundreds of residents in the towns of Herceg Novi, Tivat and Kotor have had to be evacuated. The country's authorities have used all the means at their disposal to bring the flames under control.

In response to the call for international assistance from the Montenegrin authorities, Switzerland has decided to deploy a Swiss army Super Puma helicopter chartered to KFOR from Kosovo. Equipped for firefighting, the aircraft is preparing to join the operations under way in several parts of Montenegro. 

At the same time, a rapid response team from the SDC's Swiss Humanitarian Aid Department is travelling to the region this afternoon. Accompanied by specialists from the Swiss Armed Forces, this detachment will coordinate Switzerland's actions with the Montenegrin authorities and support the crew of the Super Puma in its operations.

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