The Kosovo Force (KFOR) helicopters have been engaged on in extinguishing a vast fire developed in a mountain resort in western Kosovo in Rugova area. The institution in Kosovo requested KFOR support to the local fire brigade to block the flames that developed in a particularly inaccessible area impossible to reach with the means supplied to the Kosovar unit. KFOR Deputy Commander, Brigadier General Günter SCHÖPF, after evaluating the impact of the intervention on the mission and also the gravity of the possible spreading of the fire, decided to carry out the mission and two helicopters, provided by the KFOR Regional Command East, equipped to collect water and discharge it directly onto the flames, have provided immediate intervention.
The KFOR is a NATO-led international peacekeeping force in Kosovo. Its operations are gradually reducing until Kosovo’s Security Force, established in 2009, becomes self sufficient. KFOR entered Kosovo on 11 June 1999,two days after the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1244. At the time, Kosovo was facing a grave humanitarian crisis, with military forces from Yugoslavia in action against the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in daily engagements. Nearly one million people had fled Kosovo as refugees by that time, and many did not permanently return. KFOR is gradually transferring responsibilities to the Kosovo Police and other local authorities. Currently, 28 states contribute to the KFOR, with a combined strength of approximately 4,000 military and civilian personnel.