Fire Prevention: Météo France Launches A Forest Weather Forecast.

Due to the current drought affecting France and the increased risk of forest fires this summer, Météo France has decided to publish a forest weather forecast. We invite you to discover what this system entails in 5 questions.

"Why a forest weather forecast?"

The impressive fires that ravaged the Landes forest during the summer of 2022 probably explain why Météo France has decided to launch a forest weather forecast for next summer. Global warming and drought are causing an increase in forest fires, especially during the summer months. To prevent this risk, Météo France will soon publish a daily bulletin, with the support of the Ministry of Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion.

"When will this bulletin be available?"

Météo France will publish a daily bulletin to inform the French about the risks of fire starting from June 1st, 2023. It is planned that this forest weather forecast will be broadcasted throughout the summer and early autumn, until October. This information bulletin will be based on the Forest Weather Index (IFM) evaluated daily by Météo France for the entire territory.

3- How will the risk of fire be represented?

Concretely, forest weather will be presented in the form of a map of France updated daily.

On this map, the risk of fire will be represented department by department using a color code that the French are familiar with.

Météo France has indeed decided to use the traditional color code used for levels of meteorological alerts for thunderstorms or floods, for example...

"What color code will be used?"

As a reminder, the color code corresponding to the levels of alert from Météo France includes 4 different colors:
• green for low risk
• yellow for moderate risk
• orange for high risk
• red for very high risk.

The objective of these four colors is to help French people visualize the importance of the risk of fire in their department, that is to say the probability of a fire starting and the potential for the fire to spread.

These colors correspond to four levels of vigilance established by Météo France based on different parameters: outside temperature, wind strength, rain and air humidity, as well as the dryness of vegetation which is an aggravating factor for forest fires.

In high-risk departments, prevention messages will also be disseminated to encourage residents to exercise the greatest caution.

5- What are the prevention gestures to know?

The forest weather is a seasonal device that aims to:
delimit the risk areas
• inform French people about the risk of fires so that they are even more vigilant.

As a reminder, some prevention measures are essential to limit the risk of fire:
• for smokers: always throw cigarette butts in an ashtray and never out of the car window!
• for gardeners: do not burn green waste from the garden but take it to the dump
• for barbecue enthusiasts: always make sure to light the barbecue in a safe location such as a terrace, away from bushes and grass that can easily catch fire
• for homeowners and/or landowners: respect the obligation to clear the land set by local regulations.

Clearing and pruning may seem tedious, but it is the best way to protect your home from fire.

To conclude, let us remember the right reflexes to adopt if you witness a fire:
• you must call 18 or 112 (the European emergency number). Deaf or hard of hearing people will use 114, the emergency number dedicated to them.
• indicate the location of the fire as accurately as possible to the emergency services, giving the address or geolocating the site using your mobile phone.

Author: Audrey
Copyright image: Pixabay
Tags: Météo France, summer, weather forecast, color code, forest fires, emergency number, French people, barbecue, France, Drought, French, green waste, ashtray, cigarette, smokers, Vigilant, fire prevention, light, terrace, grass, pruning, deaf, emergency services, aims, vegetation, humidity, Landes forest, global warming, Ecological Transition, cohesion, fire starting, meteorological, thunderstorms, Orange, probability, fire starting, temperature, wind, Rain, mobile phone,
In French: Prévention des incendies : Météo France lance une météo des forêts
En español: Prevención de incendios: Météo France lanza un pronóstico del tiempo para los bosques.
In italiano: Prevenzione degli incendi: Météo France lancia una previsione del tempo per le foreste.
Auf Deutsch: Feuervorbeugung: Météo France startet eine Waldwettervorhersage.
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