Since the beginning of the summer, 180 fires of natural spaces in the Oise

Since the beginning of the summer, 180 fires of natural spaces in the Oise

The fire in Plailly last month is fortunately not the norm. -Photo: Aurélien Dheilly / SDIS60

Since June 15 in the Oise, firefighters have intervened 180 times for fires in natural areas. Fires involving crops, stubble or forests. A relatively impressive number (figure stopped on August 7). But for these 180 interventions, “only” 440 hectares burned. And that’s relatively “little”.

«We are not reliving the year 2019 when we had more than 2,200 hectares of burned”, confirms Eric de Valroger, president of SDIS 60. The conditions are for the worst : “Despite a stronger and more intense heatwave than in 2019, we certainly have a lot of interventions, but we have “only” 450 hospitals burned compared to 2200 in 2019, that’s a hell of a difference”, he insists. A difference that he explains by “the experience”.

“We consider that what makes it possible to limit breakage is the feedback from 2019 and the preparation such as the coordination of actors, prefecture, agricultural organizations and firefighters”, analyzes the President of the SDIS. The rest is a mixture of “better responsiveness for the alert”, agricultural practices adapted to the weather conditions “and more important equipment for farmers that already makes it possible to intervene before the firefighters arrive”.

After 2019, for example, the idea of equipping the fields with water reserves had been raised. “It was the comptroller general who took care of this, he contacted the Ministry of Defense, and obtained a dozen high-capacity containers distributed throughout the territory of the Oise”, details Eric de Valroger. Among the “limiting” factors, we will also note the communications made around the use of fireworks.

More and more tanker trucks

On the equipment side of the SDIS, the president affirms that he has continued with the Department his investment in forest fire tankers (CCFF) “which are obviously the most used equipment in these difficult times”. The departmental council had also made it possible, through two grants, to replace two CCFFS lost during a harvest fire in 2019.

However, the game is not won. “We remain very worried because of the temperatures, vegetation that remains very very dry and there are still currently stubble fires with a worrying phenomenon: these stubble fires are spreading into undergrowth fires”, explains Eric de Vlaroger.

Photo SDIS 60

On the other hand, whenever possible, the Oise SDIS helps departments that need it. After the Bouches-du-Rhône in July, firefighters from the department are currently in Maine-et-Loire (5 men and women, photo) where monster fires are currently raging. “We have special skills and as long as we have staff who have these skills, and they are volunteers, it is good that other SDIS can take advantage of them”, summarizes the fire department boss who concludes : “if conversely – let’s touch wood – we are in difficulty too, we would also have reinforcements if we are in difficulty, we will have reinforcements from everywhere”.

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