France fires over heat wave

Local authorities and firefighters said thousands of hectares of crops and plants were burned in a large number of French areas on Thursday due to heat and drought.

This is what happened in Normandy, known for its green promoters, in the center and in the north and in the Lorraine in the east.

"This is an unprecedented situation in the Directorate," Ludovic Birat, assistant secretary-general of the Loireya department, told AFP. "We were expecting fires but not that big."

At about 20:00 on Thursday, a fire broke out on about 500 hectares of crops, mainly reeds, 100 hectares of forest, and sometimes two kilometers of fire, the department said.

"With the accumulated drought and heat, the slightest spark leads to a fire," Berat said.

Four houses were also burned without fire, and 250 firefighters were mobilized.

In Ur (west), where temperatures have exceeded 42 degrees Celsius, "the fires have hit about 800 hectares since 1300 hours," the department said in a statement.

And requested reinforcements at the fire brigade level from neighboring districts.

There were also fires in Ur-i-Loire (central-west), where 1,170 hectares of fields were affected and 269 firefighters were mobilized, the department said. The highway was closed in the afternoon.

"If the heat wave is not the cause, it certainly increases the gravity of the situation," said a specialist. "The reed fires are serious and the wheat that is exposed to the fires is very dry," he said.


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