Chronicle: forest fires: firefighters help in France       NÖ

Chronicle: forest fires: firefighters help in France NÖ


Ferocious forest fires have returned to the French Atlantic coast. Local authorities asked foreign forces for support through the European Union. Lower Austria firefighters are also complying with this request.

08.11.2022 1:00 pm

Online since yesterday, 1pm

The French forest fire is affecting a region close to the heart of Bordeaux’s wine region. “I would classify the fire in Landiras as a megafire,” Gregory Allione of the French firefighters association FNSPF told RTL radio. “He’s a monster, a monster.” Forest fires broke out in the Gironde region this week, destroying homes and evacuating around 10,000 residents. Some of the residents had to be rescued from the roofs of their homes because the flames were too close.

More than 6,000 hectares are on fire near Bordeaux and “every minute the fire spreads to an area of ​​about ten football fields,” state fire brigade commander Dietmar Fahrafellner told . “We urgently need help here.”

Devastating forest fire near Bordeaux

AFP French firefighters fight the flames with full commitment

The French authorities asked for help through the structures of the European Union. In concrete terms, firefighting aircraft were originally ordered in this way, Fahrafellner said, but in that area “it currently seems very scarce.” Now they have turned to ground troops, “where we are also experts in Austria.” The command of the State Fire Department has registered modules for fighting forest fires in the emergency system, and now there is an order from the Ministry of the Interior, which in turn is reacting to the EU’s demand.

80 experts from Lower Austria

“Today we will send a team with special forces, 80 emergency services and we will also put forest firefighting vehicles on the road,” Fahrafellner said on Thursday. A special machine will take the experts from the Vienna-Schwechat airport fire department to France, where they must stay for about three weeks.

forest fire fighting vehicle

NOELFKDO/M. Fischer The Lower Austria fire brigade recently acquired special all-terrain vehicles to fight forest fires – especially in response to the forest fire in Hirschwang an der Rax

“We’re going to work 24 hours a day in three shifts,” the state fire chief said. “Depending on the degree of exhaustion, we will see when we can swap teams for new ones from Lower Austria.” In total, there is a contingent of 600 special forces for fighting forest fires in this country.

In addition to the forces from Lower Austria, specialists from Germany are also coming to the aid of French firefighters. Several firefighters from the Rhineland will support the French emergency services in the fight against major forest fires in southwest France. The Bonn fire department said 65 firefighters had set out with 20 vehicles and four trailers and were expected to reach the greater Bordeaux area by Thursday night.