Fire in Corsica: 900 Hectares of Forest Ravaged

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Fire in Corsica

A fire broke out in southern Corsica on Tuesday 4th February 2020. Nearly 900 hectares have already been ravaged by flames, fuelled by storm Hervé.

Water bombers and firefighters from the continent took action Wednesday 5th February 2020 in Corsica against a fire fanned by the winds of the storm Hervé, which ravaged several hundred hectares of forest and scrub without causing casualties.

On the ground, firefighters reported that 900 hectares of conifers and scrub burned. They had mentioned more than 1,000 hectares affected on Tuesday, but a more detailed assessment revealed that certain areas have been preserved.

A north wind with strong gusts always complicated the work of firefighters, said at midday the departmental operational centre for fire and rescue (Codis) which ensures that “there is no sensitive point threatened and no injuries ”.

“Complicated and exhausting”

“We cannot say for the moment that the fire is circumscribed,” he said, however, describing a “complicated and harassing job”.

An aerial reconnaissance took place on Wednesday around 9 a.m. and four water bomber planes began their flight over the area around 9:30 a.m., an AFP journalist noted . Two civil security helicopters also assist the firefighters.

An investigation has been opened by the Ajaccio prosecution and investigations are underway to try to determine the origin of the fire.

The fire broke out at dawn on the commune of Quenza (Southern Corsica) , in a pine forest, and quickly moved into the Tova Forest and then into the Solenzara Valley, attracted by a strong west wind.

Some 120 people from the fire and rescue services of Var, Bouches-du-Rhône, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and the battalion of Marseille firefighters disembarked Wednesday morning at 8 a.m. at the port of Propriano (south-west of Corsica) but were still in transit to Solaro at midday, according to Codis. They will support 200 firefighters and fire specialists already on the job.

The disaster did not require evacuation but several hundred homes were deprived of electricity on Tuesday, according to EDF Corse who told AFP on Wednesday that the situation had returned to normal.

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