NewsE-European aid to France in the fight against forest...

E-European aid to France in the fight against forest fires

Created: 08/11/2022 Updated: 08/11/2022 2:01 p.m

Waldbrände in Südfrankreich
A fire engine drives on a road past the flames of a forest fire near Belin-Beliet. © Thibaud Moritz/AFP/dpa

Strong forest fires are raging south of Bordeaux again – several firefighters are on duty. The neighboring European countries are sending help. But there are also fires in northern France.

Bordeaux – France receives European support in the fight against the violent forest fires on the Atlantic coast. The EU Commission has sent four firefighting aircraft to France via the European civil protection mechanism, which were previously stationed in Greece and Spain, as the Brussels authorities announced on Thursday.

Waldbrände in Südfrankreich
French officials have warned that the wildfire could spread further in the south-west of the country. © Thibaud Moritz/AFP/dpa

In addition, fire brigade teams from Germany, Poland, Austria and Romania are on their way to France to support the French forces. “Our partners are helping France,” said President Emmanuel Macron. “European solidarity works.”

In the Rhineland, a specialized unit of firefighters from Bonn, Düsseldorf, Leverkusen, Königswinter and Ratingen made their way to France, as the city of Bonn announced. They were accompanied by comrades from Lower Saxony, a supply unit from the Johanniter accident aid organization and experts from the @fire aid organization.

suspicion of arson

After about two weeks, fires broke out again south of Bordeaux, and arson is suspected. As the prefecture announced on Thursday, around 1,100 emergency services are fighting the flames, and 10,000 people have had to leave their homes. 6800 hectares of area were destroyed by the flames.

Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne thanked the firefighters on a visit south of Bordeaux on Thursday. France must prepare itself to be able to fight the fires favored by climate change even better in the future. When reforesting the forests, sustainability and climate change must be taken into account. “This drought is the worst that has ever been recorded in our country,” Borne said at the end of last week.

Several large forest fires also raged in France’s northern regions this summer. According to the Maine-et-Loire prefecture, a fire near Baugé destroyed about 1400 hectares of land. France’s Environment Minister Christophe Béchu told the newspaper “Libération” on Thursday about the fire: “What we have experienced here is unparalleled.” The fire brigade had never seen a fire of this magnitude there. Global warming means that northern regions could also be increasingly affected by fires. dpa

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