France is hit hard by unprecedented fires. Some 48,500 hectares of land have burned in France since the start of 2022, reveals the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS), in a count stopped on August 6.
Thus, several fires are currently affecting France, which has forced the government to “ mobilize despite the holidays, as affirmed by the Prime Minister, Élisabeth Borne, who went this week to Hostens (Gironde) where the fire was in full swing, accompanied by the French Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, to s stop on the situation and the considerable effort of the firefighters.
To come to the aid of France, several European countries have deployed firefighters on the ground to fight against its forest fires which are accentuated due to the heat wave and the historic drought that the country is going through. In addition to sending firefighters, two Italian Canadairs and two other Greeks arrived at an air base near Bordeaux, to begin their mission at the level of the burning forest in the South West region.
According to the authorities, 1,100 firefighters fought the flames in the south-west of the country, one of the worst areas where the forest fire broke out, supported by German and then Romanian firefighters, but also Poles or Austrians who form a contingent of 361 firefighters.
Friday afternoon, the firefighters mobilized were able to successfully control the fire in Gironde, in the south-west of France, which allowed some residents to return home after the agreement of the authorities. The latter have even decided to reopen the A63 line, linking Bordeaux to Spain, closed for a portion of 20 km since Wednesday already.
” 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.
In the European Union, the provisional toll of the fires is increasing due to the drought and the heat wave which affects almost the entire continent. Since January 2022, and according to updated data from the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS), more than 662,776 hectares of forest have caught fire, which is a record since satellite data began in 2006.
In Central Europe, the situation is just as serious. In July, firefighters took more than ten days to bring the biggest fire in Slovenia’s recent history under control, helped by a population so mobilized that the government had to ask residents to stop donating to firefighters.
Not having specialized planes to fight the fires, Slovenia had to call for help from Croatia, which sent a plane. But the latter had to call him back to put out its own fires, which prompted the Slovenian government to consider acquiring its first water bomber planes.