Fires were raging in Gironde (south-west France), Jura (east), Drôme, Aveyron and Lozère (south-east)… Not to mention countless smaller fires starting each day from north to south.
Faced with these fires, France called for help and several European countries announced the dispatch of reinforcements.: our partners come to the aid of France against the fires”,”text”:”Germany, Greece, Poland and, in the next few hours, Romania and Austria: our partners come to the aid of France dealing with fires”}}”>Germany, Greece, Poland and, in the next few hours, Romania and Austria: our partners are coming to the aid of France in the face of the firesrejoiced, in a tweet, President Emmanuel Macron.
Thanks to them. European solidarity is at work!he added.
In a large area around Hostens (Gironde), where Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne and Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin visited on Thursday, 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.
In this area, the sky is coated with a greyish veil, almost completely masking the scorching sun.
On Thursday afternoon, 65 German firefighters and 24 vehicles showed up. Dozens of other firefighters are expected in the coming days with their trucks from Romania, Poland or Austria.
The Romanians and the Germans will be on the ground tomorrow morning at dawnassured the press Martin Guespereau, the delegate prefect for defense and security in Gironde.
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 arrived from Bonn who had just been greeted with awelcome“,”text”:”welcome”}}”>welcome by the French authorities.
On site, several evacuated homes displayed tokens of gratitude –
Thank you for our homes Where
Thank you firefighters painted on white sheets.
A total of 361 European firefighters took the road to the south-west of France to support the 1,100 firefighters who are fighting night and day a resumption of fire from the gigantic fire of Landiras, in the south-west (14,000 hectares already burned in July ).
In addition, four planes from the European Union’s firefighting fleet have been sent to France from Greece and Sweden, the European Commission said.
Poland has announced that it will send 146 firefighters from Thursday to help in the south from Friday noon, according to the French presidency.
A total of eight water bombers and two helicopters were mobilized for this second day of struggle marked by new outbreaks of fire, particularly in Saint-Symphorien (Gironde).
There, we get overwhelmed everywheretold AFP, eyes circled, Rémy Lahay, professional firefighter for 20 years.
” It feels like California, it’s gigantic. »
The drought that prevails in the region and the scorching temperatures, combined with very dry air, always create a
very serious risk of fire outbreakaccording to the prefecture.
Fire and the effect of the climate crisis
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. It is in any case several times the annual average of the previous 15 years, as in Spain, while the summer is not over.
And the rain is not expected before Sunday in France.
In central Portugal, the same spectacle of desolation: more than 1,500 firefighters were mobilized on Thursday to put out a forest fire that has been ravaging the Serra da Estrela natural park for several days, destroying some 10,000 hectares, according to European data.
One of the most scientifically verified effects of climate change is that heat waves will multiply, lengthen and intensify.
Scientists estimate that in Europe, the number of deaths related to heat stress could double or even triple depending on the extent of global warming during the century.
The current heat wave in France began on July 31 and is the third of the year, after those of the end of June and mid-July. Added to this is a month of July classified as the driest month since March 1961.