Brittany, better known for its mild weather, faced a massive fire on Tuesday that ravaged hundreds of hectares of moorland in the Monts d’Arrée, a day after record heat. The fire, declared at around 14:45 on Monday in Brasparts (Finistère), has ravaged 1,700 ha of peatland in just over 24 hours, a far cry from the more than 19,000 ha of forest that went up in smoke in the Gironde.
Up to 260 firefighters and 50 vehicles were mobilized to fight the flames in this natural site known for its biodiversity in the heart of the Armorique Regional Natural Park (PNR). “The swamp is very difficult to penetrate, we can do a few meters, at best a few tens of meters, we have to wait“Fire,” Gilles Boulic, lieutenant colonel of the Fire and Rescue Service (Sdis) in Finistère, explained to AFP.
The Dash water bomber went into action twice on Monday evening and on Tuesday morning. However, despite reinforcements from neighboring departments, Finistère firefighters were unable to stop the fire as the wind favored its progress. Almost 500 people had to be evacuated overnight and were sheltered in gymnasiums in Sizun and Landivisiau. “It was so dry, I’m not at all surprised it caught fire in the end, but I didn’t think so many hectares would be burned.Laurence Goupil, a resident of Comman, evacuated early in the morning by gendarmes, responded to AFP.
“The Red Cross took care of us with their tents, drinks and food,” said Ben Nives, an English tourist who took refuge in Sizun with his family. “They made us feel comfortable. But we have to wait for the gendarmerie to call us to let us know when it is safe to return to our gîte to collect our things.»
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