When protection takes over fighting
High velocity wind-driven fires facing dense habitat
Fire and Rescue Service of Bouches du Rhône
The department of Bouche du Rhône occupies an area of 523000 ha, composed of 119 municipalities hosting 2 005 000 inhabitants.
170 000 ha and 110 municipalities are exposed to wildfire hazard
199 780 constructions (over 20m²) located on forest border are categorized as subjected to STRONG, VERY STRONG or EXCEPTIONNAL wildfire hazard. This hazards level means likely to suffer serious damages.
Each year, the Fire and Rescue Service Of Bouches du Rhône deals with an average of 160 fires, burning 910 ha.
The landscape is composed with Mediterranean vegetation, mainly softwood and scrubland.
Exemple of Wildfire – Martigues – August 4th 2020
Weather conditions : NW wind 52 km/h average speed, 90 km/h gust
Burned area : 935 ha in 3h06
Fire spread : 2,6 km/h average speed, max 4,8 km/h
Damages : 72 housing impacted, 2 campsites totally burned
Resources : 50 strike team, 200 engines, 1000 firefighters, 200 partners (forest service, Police, etc.…)
Developing Wildfire analysis skills :
Team of 8 fire analysts and 25 végétation observers
Production of a forecast bulletin about predicted fire behaviour to help decision makers and inform strike teams and leaders
Wild fire analysis tools are used to design forest management.
Wildfire analyst in the Incident Command Post to help the IC understanding fire behaviour and building his fighting strategy
Every citizen becomes the first prevention actor of wildfires,
Self-protection of the housing through fuel suppression and pyro resistant built-in materials,
Permeability of the forest-city boundaries to improve self-protection by densifying the buildings and therefore requiring less operational resources for its safety when fire occurs,
Urban development regulation with enforceable territorial coherence scheme,
Forest management oriented by wildfire analysis to control fuel and facilitate fighting by creating more useful path,
Fighting adaptation by creating specific strike team devoted to housing protection.