Fires Ravage Several Hundred Hectares in South, West and Central France

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Fires ravage several hundred hectares in south, west and central France

After a scorching summer, fires ravaged hundreds of hectares in several French departments, affected by drought.

Fires continued Thursday 5th September 2019 to devastate hundreds of hectares in several French departments, affected by drought after a scorching summer.

At the end of the day, at the gates of Marseille, two fires caused monster traffic jams. The most important fire left the highway, north of the city, Septèmes-les-Vallons. In a statement, the firefighters called this fire “complex”.

This fire, located in a very urbanized area, has a time threatened a retirement home, quickly secure. Firefighters estimated around 7pm that the fire threatened a hundred homes. More than 200 men and women, as well as land and air assets, are deployed.

In Charente-Maritime, the fire that has consumed 205 hectares of pine forest since Wednesday is now under control, according to the prefecture, which does not exclude a criminal track. Up to 450 firefighters were hired, as well as more than 100 vehicles and one aircraft dropped the retardant. A hundred firefighters will remain on the spot in the night to proceed to total extinction.

The La Rochelle mine clearance service conducted on-site searches after three detonations have been heard since Wednesday. “Two munitions dating a priori from the Second World War were found and (…) destroyed on the spot,” said the prefecture.

“In September, it’s not normal”

In Banyuls (Pyrénées-Orientales), the fire that has destroyed since Thursday morning thirty hectares of garrigue and pine forests is also considered “controlled”, announced the fire department in the afternoon. It required the evacuation of their home of a hundred people, as a preventive measure.

Some 120 firemen and four Canadair were mobilized to fight against this fire “on a complicated relief, fanned by a tramontane whose gusts could reach 75 km / h”, according to the prefecture.

In Indre, a department hit by a particularly severe drought, some 150 ha of forest went up in smoke in the Brenne, in a fire that started Wednesday afternoon, according to firefighters. “It will take several more days to extinguish it completely,” they told AFP

In the Gard, in Val d’Aigoual, in the Cevennes, a fire burned 15 hectares of vegetation. Firefighters secure priority a hamlet threatened, supported by air assets.

In Ardèche, the flames, fanned by a strong wind, burned in the afternoon about forty hectares in the town of Vagnas, where about 200 firefighters and air assets – four Trackers and four Canadair – were mobilized.

“The fire is contained. It has dropped well and should not change, “said shortly after 18h at AFP fire department.

“A campsite near the village, which housed three families, was evacuated as a precaution.”

These fires “in September, it is not normal”, reacted Thursday Colonel Grégory Allione, president of the National Federation of firefighters of France (FNSPF). “With global warming, we will have to change policy in some departments”, usually spared by fires, he warned.

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