As largely uncontrolled wildfires continue to rage through Greece, the U.S. Navy has dispatched a P-8 Poseidon reconnaissance plane to assist firefighting efforts there.

The plane left Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy, on Thursday and the assistance has continued through Friday, according to officials.

“We are committed to our European allies and partners and in addition to physical support, we are sending our thoughts and prayers to all that are impacted by these tragic fires,” U.S. 6th Fleet spokeswoman Cmdr. Richlyn Ivey said.

The Greeks requested the assistance, according to a statement from the U.S. Embassy in Athens.

The fires in Greece and Turkey came after a record heat wave, and Greek fire crews were battling 154 wildfires as of Friday, according to the Associated Press.

Thousands fled the infernos Friday, and a volunteer firefighter was killed on the outskirts of Athens while battling a blaze that was creeping up on an important national park in the capital, the AP reported.

Geoff is the editor of Navy Times, but he still loves writing stories. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at

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