Emmanuel Macron is expected this Friday with the Civil Security, in the Gard. It is about "preparing for the summer", which "still promises to be very difficult" after the many fires last year.
On the air base of the civil security of Nîmes-Garons, the head of state will "exchange with all the actors mobilized on the ground to prepare the summer of 2023", announced the Elysee. It is a question of "ensuring that the decisions taken" in the autumn "are well implemented on the ground in order to protect the French," said a presidential adviser. The base where the head of state is expected saw one of his pilots, Franck Chesneau, die while fighting the flames in Générac, Gard, in August 2019.
In October, after a near-record number of surfaces burned during the summer of 2022, Emmanuel Macron announced several measures "to prevent fires and strengthen the means of fighting, whether material or human," recalls the presidency. It gives a positive progress report: nine additional aerial aircraft from 2023, new columns of firefighters that can be mobilized and progress towards the creation of a fourth military civil security unit.
As of May 21, 21,000 hectares have already burned
The president also announced the creation of a "forest weather", whose first bulletin, which was initially to be published on June 1, was postponed to this Friday to be unveiled on the occasion of the trip to the Gard. This new forecast map will present at the departmental level the degree of risk by a color code ranging from green (low) to red (very high) through yellow (moderate) and orange (high).
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"This will allow each French to know what is the level of risk in the department where he is" and to "recall the right gestures," says the Elysee. "It is a tool for collective mobilization in a summer that still promises to be very difficult," added an advisor, noting that as of May 21, 21,000 hectares have already burned in France, compared to 15,000 ha in 2022 at the same date.
Last year, 72,000 hectares, including 60,000 hectares of forest, went up in smoke in France, and 60,000 people had to be evacuated due to the fires. It was an "unprecedented climatic event", a "very dramatic episode that affected the entire France" with 50 departments affected by fires, recalls the entourage of the president. "We had to change the software to adapt to these new challenges."