Update 05/07/2023 – This article refers to the fires that took place in the southern Gironde, 2022. Read more about a mapping service from Meteo France that covers the risk of forest fires.
OVER the past couple of days I have seen five Canadair water-bombing aircraft heading west in the direction of Bordeaux, sent to tackle the large fire in the southwestern Gironde region.
Around 7,000 hectares of forest has already been burnt in the fire, with thousands of people forced to evacuate and a thousand pompiers tasked with fighting the fire that has been described as ‘an ogre’.
Since the turn of the year more than 57,000 hectares of ground has been burnt in France, the largest amount burnt in the last 15 years.
🔥 #Incendies. 57 680 hectares ont brûlé en France depuis le début de l’année. C’est un peu plus que la superficie de Paris + du Val-de-Marne + des Hauts-de-Seine.https://t.co/q32MBVpcfC pic.twitter.com/zc9915VaU7
— Visactu (@visactu) August 11, 2022
And help has been coming to tackle the Gironde fire from beyond France, with fire fighting teams sent from other European nations and additional Canadair aircraft deployed from the EU.
Map of forest fires in France
You can get an idea of where the fires in France are by visiting the Copernicus website, which is an EU service that uses satellite technology to help member states tackle the worst forest fires.
Click on the Current Situation Viewer and you will be taken to a map of Europe showing fires across many different countries.
If you look for the options panel and then Active Fires, you will see two tick boxes that say MODIS and VIIRS, tick these.
Then on the map you will see a number of red dots highlighting the areas that are currently burning, which have been detected by two orbiting satellites.
Information on the fires is provided six times a day via the two satellites scanning the land below, and after two to three hours the mapping service is brought up to date.
France has experienced a terrible summer of forest fires, as well as drought conditions, with the authorities stressing the importance of being aware of just how easy it is for fires to start with the countryside so dry.
Last Updated on 24 August, 2023.