Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Commune fires

I am aware of three fires in the commune this year, relatively small at less than a hectare and fortunately dealt with quickly and efficiently. This is the most recent and closest to the village at less than 100m from occupied property.

I fear there will be an increased fire risk in the coming years as the trend is for the surface area under vine to reduce. Vineyards don't easily catch fire and being large make excellent fire breaks. In 2004 50% of the surface area of the commune, amounting to just over 8 square kms, was vineyards. In the 5 years to 2009 this has reduced to just over 40% (source Observatoire viticole for the Hérault). The fire at this site, and at least one of the others, involved vines that had recently been pulled up and the field seemingly abandoned.

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