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Forest fires: France broke its annual record for burned areas in July – La Provence

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By La Provence (with AFP) With already more than 47,000 hectares burned since the beginning of the year, France experienced a record number of burned areas in July, we learned today from the European System of information on forest fires (EFFIS), which has kept comparable statistics since 2006. Since January 1, fires have ravaged 47,361 hectares in France, according to data dating from Thursday, Jesús San Miguel told AFP, coordinator of EFFIS, i.e. more than the 43,602 hectares burned recorded in 2019 over the whole year. This record was reached while the high fire season is not yet over. The risk remains very high due to the accumulation of heat waves and an exceptional drought which has permanently settled in France. This provisional assessment is partly the result of the two fires which alone in July devastated more than 20 000 hectares of forest in Gironde. Major fires have also stricken Provence, such as La Montagnette. Two others are still in progress in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence in Villeneuve and Rougon. The average surface area ravaged in France by the flames is 9,814 hectares over the period from 2006 to 2021, according to the EFFIS database which is based on satellite images from the European Copernicus program. research at INRAe in Avignon. This drastic reduction had been obtained by a successful strategy combining prevention, patrols and rapid interventions on incipient fires. However, global warming and the increase in forest biomass now pose the threat of more frequent and intense fires, including in the north of the country.

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