The situation seems particularly worrying for the month of March. This weekend, the already well-established drought and the violent winds of storm Larissa formed an explosive cocktail in the Alpes-Maritimes. More than 300 firefighters and significant resources, including air, with reinforcements from the Var and Marseille, had to be mobilized to overcome eight forest fires that broke out between Friday and Saturday, a-t- we learned from the Departmental Fire and Rescue Service.
In total, nearly 55 hectares of vegetation went up in smoke, especially in the hinterland of Grasse, without causing any injuries or threatening homes. But the authorities are calling for “the strongest attention” while the water situation will remain worrying.
The two largest fires, fanned by gusts of wind at over 130 km/h, affected Saint-Vallier-de-Thiey (20 hectares), very close to the city of perfumes, and Briançonnet (30 hectares), at the border with the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department, where around thirty firefighters are still mobilized this Monday morning. On site, “hot spots still remain” and “the work of treating the edges must continue during the day”, specifies Sdis 06.
The department on drought “alert”
The fires, some of which were caused by electric arcs on medium or high voltage lines, also affected the municipalities of Spéracèdes, where 3.22 hectares burned, Le Mas (7,000 m2), Coaraze (5,000 m2), Lantosque ( 2,500 m2), Puget-Rostang (1,000 m2) and Bouyon (500 m2), according to reports communicated by Sdis 06. In the latter village, northwest of Nice, a sheepfold had to be evacuated.
“We are only in March and the drought situation, combined with high temperatures and strong winds, already calls for the greatest vigilance in the face of the start of fires”, reacted the president of the department of the Alps- Maritimes, president of Sdis 06. And Charles-Ange Ginésy to “call on all residents to be civic-minded and pay the greatest attention to this situation”.
On Friday, the Alpes-Maritimes prefecture announced that the department was going to be placed on drought “alert” while the level of certain rivers is alarming. A decree should specify in the coming hours the restrictions on drinking water consumption that will be put in place. Watering between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., as well as the filling of swimming pools, will be prohibited in particular.