Home WORLD EUROPA Europe at the bedside of France to fight against the fires

Europe at the bedside of France to fight against the fires

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In the area of ​​the worst French forest fire of the moment, in the South-West, 1,100 firefighters are fighting day and night, supported at dawn, according to the authorities, by German and then Romanian firefighters. The latter form part of the contingent of 361 firefighters, including Poles and Austrians.

We are all firefighters, and we understand the situation. It must be really hard to fight fires this long and this big.said Simon Fritz, a professional firefighter who arrived from Bonn in the Southwest.

At an air base near Bordeaux, two Italian Canadairs and two other Greeks also arrived in the morning and for some, immediately began their mission in the Southwest forest.

An airplane dropping fire retardant.

This photo, provided by Gironde region firefighters SDIS 33, shows a plane dropping fire retardant as firefighters tackle a blaze near Saint-Magne, south of Bordeaux, in the south-west of France, Thursday August 11, 2022.

Photo: Associated Press

Joining forces is a plus. We see it every year in Greece, we see it now in Francesays Commander Anastasis Sariouglou, 36, who is on his first mission to France.

In Hostens (in Gironde, South-West), where the operations control post had taken on the air of a Spanish inn, the head of detachment Romanian colonel Cristian Buhaiànu assured that his 77 firefighters, uniforms with red suspenders, caps and flocked trucks pompieriiare ready to go to the field.

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The fire ravaged 7,400 hectares of forest in two days and forced 10,000 people to leave their homes, sometimes for the second time in a month. Already in July, 14,000 hectares had burned in this sector.

If the thick smoke dissipated Friday morning, giving way to a blue sky flecked with clouds, the fact remains that the fire is still active and extends over 40 km, according to the sub-prefect of Arcachon Ronan Léaustic. the fire has not changed, but the weather conditions encourage us to be extremely vigilant.

With 37° Celsius expected on site, the day [vendredi ] may be complicatedhe added.

Situation exceptional

The Jura, with its normally more moderate climate, has in turn been affected since Tuesday by two fires which have devoured around 660 hectares of forest.

And the fires are still raging in Isère, Ardèche, Drôme (south-east)… Not to mention countless smaller fires starting every day from north to south.

In the west of France, a fire even broke out overnight in the Brocéliande forest, a high place in Arthurian legend, destroying more than 300 hectares of vegetation. Two Swedish water bombers were making drops on Friday to combat it, according to local authorities.

In front of this situation exceptionalseveral major French companies have taken steps to facilitate the release of their volunteer firefighters, responding to the government’s call.

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In all, more than 40,000 hectares have burned this year in France according to the government, or 50,000 hectares according to European satellite data: this is in any case several times the annual average of the previous 15 years, as in Spain, so that summer is not over.

And the rain is not expected before Sunday in France.

Firefighters fight a blaze.

Firefighters battle a blaze near Saint-Magne, south of Bordeaux, in southwestern France.

Photo: Associated Press

France is suffering from a third heat wave. The night from Thursday to Friday was hot, with more than 25 ° C at 3 a.m. GMT, Friday, in several departments of the South-West, and according to the forecaster Météo-France, the maximum temperatures were to show 38 to 40 ° C during the day.

The drought and heat wave that hit many European countries this summer are also causing unprecedented fires. Thus, in the center of Portugal, more than 1,500 firefighters remained mobilized on Friday against a forest fire which destroyed some 10,000 hectares of vegetation, in almost a week, in the world geopark recognized by theUNESCO from the Serra da Estrela mountain region.

According to scientists, the multiplication of extreme meteorological phenomena (heat wave, drought, fires, etc.) is a direct consequence of global warming, with greenhouse gas emissions increasing in intensity, duration and frequency.

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