DROUGHT: Deprived of rain, the Grand-Est is particularly prone to fires at present. The risk is particularly high in two Lorraine departments
Alert to the “high” risk of fire in Meurthe-et-Moselle and Meuse. The two departments are classified in orange alert for a fire this Monday, indicated Météo-France in its forest weather report. Eleven other departments of Grand-Est, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté and Ile-de-France are classified as yellow vigilance.
On Sunday, a resumption of fire broke out in the town of Saint-Baslemont ( Vosges ), after a previous fire on Tuesday, which had ravaged six hectares. The rapid intervention of the firefighters this time made it possible to limit the damage to less than one hectare. “The forest is dry, there are dead woods, stumps, all this is conducive to a resumption of fire”, indicated the mayor of Saint-Baslemont, Pascal Boyé. “There is increased vigilance, all forest owners are worried. It hasn’t rained for a month to a month and a half, there is a lot of wind… We can salute the work of the firefighters, they were very efficient, it could have been dramatic, “he said. he adds.
The Bas-Rhin under surveillance
Météo-France is still forecasting rainless weather in the region for the next seven days. This Tuesday, five departments of the country are still classified in orange vigilance for fire, in Lorraine and Ile-de-France, and 23 in yellow alert.
In the Bas-Rhin, the prefecture has developed a “Sentinels” device for monitoring the start of fires, a device which will be launched Monday at 2 p.m., according to a press release. The sentries, and volunteers, are notified via messaging and go to places considered potentially dangerous according to several criteria (weather, hydrological state, etc.) to patrol there.
If they detect a fire starting, they call the emergency services and give their approximate coordinates, the colour of the smoke, etc. so that firefighters can get to the scene as quickly as possible.
During the summer of 2022, there were between “six and twelve starts of fires per day” in the Bas-Rhin department, according to the prefecture, but 95% of them were extinguished before reaching an area of five hectares.
Forest fires are “a risk that concerns all territories. It is assumed that all territories will be affected. Currently, it is the Grand-Est which is experiencing the most severe drought in France, ”said the prefect of Bas-Rhin , Josiane Chevalier, on Sunday during a preparation exercise. “The risk can be locally very high in the sectors of Wissembourg, Sarre, Petite-Pierre, Haguenau and Saverne, which cover 83 municipalities in total”, specified the prefecture .