Europe 1 with AFP 5:01 p.m., August 10, 2022
To strengthen the system for fighting exceptional fires in the summer, the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin called on communities and businesses on Wednesday to release the volunteer firefighters they employ from their duties.
"It's an extremely important civic message," he added.
Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin on Wednesday called on communities and businesses to release the volunteer firefighters they employ from their duties, to strengthen the system for fighting exceptional summer fires.
"I launch a solemn appeal to employers to release their employees who are volunteer firefighters, so that they can join their fellow firefighters, everywhere on the national territory", declared the minister during a trip to the Aveyron.
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"It's an extremely important civic message," he added during a press briefing in the village of Mostuéjouls, evacuated overnight from Monday to Tuesday due to the proximity of a fire which ravaged 700 hectares in Lozère and Aveyron, and mobilized 600 firefighters.
The exceptional fires that have broken out in France since the beginning of the summer have put a strain on the firefighters, professionals and volunteers, who have been mobilized sometimes to exhaustion.
While aerial firefighting means are insufficient, France has requested help from European countries.
"The Swedes are lending us planes from (Thursday), the Italians no doubt in the next few hours (...) This European mechanism allows us in any case in the next few hours to be able to concentrate other air resources", said he announced.
Firefighters are mobilized on many fronts, particularly in Gironde, but also in smaller fires in Maine-et-Loire, Aveyron, Drôme, Isère or Pyrénées-Orientales, each time with reinforcements from other departments.