Raging French Fire

Courtesy of thedrinksbuisness.com

Courtesy of thedrinksbuisness.com

Katelynn Karsten

Around mid-August, a fire started in Bordeaux, France. The fire was caused by a heat wave that hit western Europe and has currently burned over 10,000 acres. People and animals have evacuated their homes and this has left hundreds of people in fear and uncertainty. Firefighters are trying everything they can to stop this fire. Hopefully, their effort puts the fire out. 

Reporters say that the fire started from a heat wave that spread across France. It was said that the weather hit 40 degrees Celsius, which is about 104 degrees Fahrenheit. These intense heat waves have caused outdoor events to be canceled. The fire first started in July but was not fully extinguished. The firefighters thought that it was out, but it rose back again in August. The Bordeaux fire is difficult to put out because of the harsh winds that keep fueling this fire, as well as the dry brush. The firefighters tackled the fire, but they needed more help. Firefighters from Germany, Romania, Austria, Poland, and Greece came over to this fire to help them.

There are certain ways firefighters put out these brush fires. Firefighters have to get rid of fuel, oxygen, and heat. Those attributes fuel the fire. With those out, the fire will be easy to extinguish. First, they usually put water or fire retardant on the ground so it can’t burn past that line. Fire retardant is a substance to slow down or stops the fire from burning past the line. Usually, you can see helicopters dropping the fire retardant down onto the flames.  An interview from Captain Ray Karsten, a firefighter at Station 156, says, “We do something called anchor and flank, we start where the fire originated from and the crew with hose packs work along both sides of it. As fires get larger it becomes harder so we work with aircraft that drop water along the edge to take some heat out.” He explained, “When the fires get larger, we send engines out ahead to protect homes as the fire burns through the area. If they get even larger, we use roads as fire breaks.” He then said that they do something called a burning operation, which is basically a controlled fire. That fire will then burn into the main one, taking away the fuel so it has nowhere else to go. This technique corners the fire.

Courtesy of ABC7 News Airplane dropping fire retardant

So far, it has burned over 20,000 acres. It has burned through forests, houses, and anything that’s in its way. 10,000 people have moved away from this fire. Others have refused to leave so they can defend themselves and their homes. Over 1,500 firefighters are fighting this monstrous fire that seems to never stop.  According to BBC News, Ms. Fayol, a citizen that lives near the fire states that “There is still a lot of smoke but for now it’s not coming this way.” Another lady named Melanie Morales Tutu, age 39, told the Washington Post that she was gone on a vacation when she heard the news of the fire. She raced home to get her cats and pet pig but her pig refused to leave with her. The woman sadly had to leave her pig at home and evacuate from the fire. She said, “The village was a cloud of black smoke. The firefighters told us to leave and not come back.” Days later, most of the sky became black and smoky, the air quality was horrible and they closed down the A63 motorway. That motorway connects Bordeaux, France to the border of Spain.

The fire is still going strong and the firefighters have not gotten a grip on it yet. The reason why this fire started in the first place is because of global warming. Thousands of people are left homeless because we’re burning too much coal and oil. Try everything you can to make sure that you aren’t endangering other people, animals, and our earth. Hopefully, the firefighters will be able to put this fire out before it does any more damage.