Fires in France: with 47,000 hectares burned, cracked surface record was exceeded from month

The risk of fire is still very high this summer due to the accumulation of heat waves and the exceptional drought that has been permanently installed in France.

[nimle ] with AFP

The fire season is not yet over, but the figures are already reaching heights. With more than 47,000 hectares burned since the beginning of the year, France has exceeded in July a record of burned areas, said the European Forest Fire Fire Information System (Effis), Friday 5 august. In 2019, 43,602 hectares had burned over the whole year.

This provisional assessment is partly the result of the two fires which alone ravaged more than 20,000 hectares of forest in Gironde in July. The risk of fire is still very high this summer due to the accumulation of heat waves and the exceptional drought that has settled in France.

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average of 9,814 hectares burned per year

The average of the surfaces ravaged by the flames in France is 9,814 hectares for the period from 2006 to 2021, according to the database of the Effis which is based on the satellite images of the European program Copernicus.

In the past, however, this annual average “was around 45,000 hectares for all of France in the years 1970-1980”, according to Jean-Luc Dupuy, director of research at INRAE ​​in Avignon.

This drastic drop had been obtained by a fruitful strategy combining prevention, patrols and rapid interventions on emerging fires. Global warming and the increase in forest biomass, however, weigh the threat of more frequent and more intense fires now, including in the north of the country.

/Media reports.