Eight fire exits and one XXL fire: the story of a dark day in the Pyrenees-Orientales

Pyrénées-Orientales firefighters fought for hours against the flames around Perpignan on Tuesday 28 June.
Pyrénées-Orientales firefighters fought for hours against the flames around Perpignan on Tuesday 28 June. (©Yacine BUCHAIB/SDIS 66)

a dark day firefighters lives only once every ten years. This Tuesday, 28 June 2022 not ready to leave his memory fire soldiers between Pyrenees Orient, on the opposite side multiple fires who has ruined this beloved and beautiful department. News Perpignan traces the chronology of events, where eight fire starts detected within a few hours, including one major XXL fever multiple burned thousand hectares.

30°C and north wind: favorable conditions for fires around Perpignan

On paper, on Tuesday, June 28, P.-O was clearly checked by firefighters. Aforementioned, weather forecast Over 30°C and moderate to strong northerly winds (more than 50 km/h in rains) were announced. quite convenient in appearance major firesas in recent weeks, when the dry vegetation of the section has already been abused.

9:15 am: A vehicle fire spreads to vegetation near Leroy Merlin

He 9:15 am SDIS 66 is called in a fire for the first time of the day. A vehicle is burning between the back of the shop Leroy Merlin Porte d’Espagne and Serrat d’en Vaquer and Flames spread over vegetation. More fear of harm for firefighters, because even if the fire threatens several hectares, only 500m2 Finally, the vegetation was reached.

11:30 am: double alarm, emergency in Rivesaltes, major threat in Opoul-Perillos

Just two hours later, things suddenly accelerated for Catalan rescuers. Against 11.30 in the morning, double warning occurs: two fires start It occurs semi-synchronously, north of Perpignan. a Rivesaltes, the other Opoul-Perillos.

Rescuers focus first on the first, because emergency is there : flames exploded on the edge of SNCF sounds and a direct threat subsection from the community. A one hundred people is is evacuated. fire will burn seven hectares, before it was finally under control in the afternoon.

13:00: Big fire scare confirmed in Opoul-Perillos

At the same time and when the human risk is virtually zero, firefighters know, main threat On the side of Opoul-Périllos, where the flames broke out, near Mas Nou. There are thickets as far as the eye can see on the ridges in the north of the section. Tramontan is there, fueling a fire that has no natural limits nearby.

At around 13.00 the flames advanced and Aircraft already called reinforcement. Half an hour later, and a firefighter being rescued unharmed after triggering the distress signal, rescuers report an initial assessment that is important but minimal given the sequence of events: 30 hectares gone in smoke.

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14:30: The Opoul fire started to progress rapidly

Despite the efforts of firefighters, the fire at Opoul was very fierce, especially as the north wind was strengthened by strong winds in the area. A new balance sheet falls and has no appeal: 180 hectares they were devastated inland. Two other Canadair aircraft and two Dash aircraft were called in as reinforcements, but fire soldiers they are aware of this: fire, full free spread, did not finish construction damage.

The following times harder. Firefighters can’t fight: minute by minute, hectare after hectareThe fire is moving very fast and the small alleyways nearby are easily crossed by the flames.

15:15: New fire starts, SDIS 66 just in time

When the situation is unfavorable Opoul-Perillos, most SDIS 66 Around 3:15 p.m. several other fires were warned of the start. In Camélas, near a Mas, but especially millas and Saint-Feliu-d’Avall on the edge tet, caused by a thick cloud of smoke closing between national road 116.

Finally, about one hectare of the reeds and bush are also affected. The aircraft used in Opoul travel to the region by a circuitous route. stop quickly The progress of the fire, but the firefighters are starting to run out.

16:00: Pollestres, Le Barcarès… More fire exits

Whereas several hundred firefighters are already in the field, these are firemen font Who is responsible for starting the fire in Camelas? SDIS 66 works just in time and human supplement in Opoul.

firefighters aude, of the Herault, from Guard but at the same time Upper Garonne go there. Afterwards, other fire outbreaks are reported, Pollestra or even barcars. Fortunately, these will be trivial.

5:15 pm: Opoul fire jumps off the A9 and moves towards Salses

fire Rivesaltes is is expert, So are the other departures. Then all eyes are on Opoul and the news is not good: results show 300 to 400 hectares covered. Everything is accelerating, the fire crosses the A9 highway. A few examples ago, emergency services encouraged drivers to leave the area. A9 finally closed back and forth between Leucate and perpignan

The flames are heading there now Salses-le-Chateau, And what arises is an entirely different problem: the human threat becomes real. most smoke cloud IT IS POSSIBLE influential, It can be seen from Perpignan and the whole department, even neighboring departments… and from space !

Then the emergency services teams also made a request. closing between partition path D900, together new supplements The scenery in Salanque is apocalyptic.

18:30: Eighth fire start in Cases-de-Pene

Big blow for Catalan firefighters. In the afternoon, he announced another fire in the area. Cases-de-Pene, near the site ecozone, It is home to many animal species. The situation is not favorable at all, because very quickly, at least 5 hectare has destruction, several hundred are threatened.

Cerbere firefighters were called to the scene as a last resort. Already greatly reduced, SDIS 66 no longer has many features vital forces, minor traffic accidents follow each other. In the evening, 7 to 10 hectares are finally covered before the fire is brought under control. In Cases-de-Pene, the toll could have been much heavier.

20:00: Campsites threatened and residents evacuated in Salses

The Opoul-Périllos fire gradually turns into the Salses-le-Château fire. Town in line of sight: two campsites has evacuation, one is directly threatened by the flames. The latter will eventually reach even the first dwellings. A total of 300 people were evacuated, 81 of whom were in the multi-purpose hall.

one in Opoul power line it happened stripped, to cause Destroy for 600 households. Drinking water access also made impossible at the end of the day. Pyrénées-Orientales prefecture is a supply operation.

23:30: at least 1,000 hectares destroyed, is the situation positive?

In the field, 500 firefighters Nearly a hundred people, who came as reinforcements from neighboring areas, fought against the flames, and the spread to the town of Salses-le-Château was finally contained.

At the end of the evening, P.-O. announced that the fire had been cleared before changing its press release. Thus, the situation will become more favorable than during the daylight hours. Tramonta’s fallhowever, risks of progression still exist.

3to biggest fire of 21to century in Pyrénées-Orientales

According to the latest news, these are More than 1000 hectares of vegetation who was burned, this is Tuesday, June 28th… The third day most more devastating since the beginning of 21to century in the Pyrénées-Orientales fires Tarerach (1,970 hectares, 22.08.2005) and Montalba-le-Chateau (1,308 hectares, 08/11/2016).

Finally, and in all probability, most of these fires that occurred on June 28, 2022, criminal origin and willful. In any case, it is the route preferred by emergency services and police to date.

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