Since Friday, the forest fire unit GFFF-V from NRW has been active in forest fire operations in France. After arriving late Thursday night in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, the forces moved into their base camp near the town of Hostens. After the briefing of the task forces by the local authorities and the advance command of the Bonn Fire Department, as well as coordination with the local firefighters, the forest fire unit split into two teams for the coming days. While one half is on fire duty, the other team takes care of the warehouse and the maintenance and care of the deployed equipment. After receiving the mission order, the team proceeded to the scene. Since the operation sites are often located outside the main roads in impassable terrain, precise planning of the approach is necessary. There are local guides from the local authorities who support the team.
Today, as temperatures remain high, emergency personnel are busy with firefighting operations. The main objective is to find and extinguish hidden pockets of embers. Furthermore, firebreaks are created with special hand tools to prevent the spread of fire. In this process, all combustible material is removed to deprive the fire of the opportunity to spread further on the ground. This sounds trivial at first, but it is enormously important to prevent the fire from flaring up again when the wind picks up. With the prevailing outside temperatures around 40°C, this is a very strenuous task. Great care is taken to ensure that emergency personnel take regular breaks and drink enough drinking water.
A total of 65 forces from the fire departments of Bonn, Düsseldorf, Leverkusen, Königswinter, Ratingen, firefighters from Lower Saxony, specialist consultants from the aid organization @fire and a supply unit from Johanniter-Unfallhilfe are on site.