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.