“It is no longer progressing. It is not yet fixed, because we still have many edges to deal with, so we will pass it fixed when these edges are calmer”, declared to AFP, shortly after getting up. of the sun, Lieutenant-Colonel Jérôme Bonnafoux, spokesperson for the Hérault fire department.
“The objective, before the wind picks up, is to really stall it, so that afterwards we can get into action and that we are not bothered when the wind picks up,” he explained. .
The approximately 650 firefighters mobilized continued their work on the ground all night, “in difficult conditions since without air support”, underlined Mr. Bonnafoux.
The areas burned since the double start of fire in the town of Gignac late Tuesday morning are of the order of “800 to 900 hectares”, according to the firefighters’ spokesperson.
The three water bomber planes of the Hérault departmental cell were to resume their drops from 7 a.m. “to really perfect (the work) on the edges and prevent them from resuming”, he specified.
Two departures of fires, 1.5 km apart, broke out on Tuesday in the municipalities of Saint-Bauzille-de-la-Sylve, Gignac and Aumelas, before joining, in a difficult to access and sparsely populated area made up of scrubland, holm oaks and vines.
“No casualties are to be deplored” and “no damage” observed on the buildings, said Tuesday evening during a press briefing the commander of the relief operations, Colonel Sylvain Besson.
Some 280 people were the subject of a preventive evacuation in the town of Aumelas and fifty people found refuge in a village hall in the neighboring town of Vendémian, said the prefecture.
“We could see on the hill that the fire was progressing, then after we went home because the air was starting to be a little stuffy and it stung the eyes”, testified Stéphanie Gauthier, resident of the village of Aumelas, evacuated for at night by the gendarmes and questioned by AFP-TV.