A fire in the Aude causes power cuts in France, Spain and Portugal

The fire seen from the city of Fabrezan, in Aude, July 24, 2021. IDRISS BIGOU-GILLES / AFP

A fire, which had already traversed, Saturday, July 24, some 850 hectares of vegetation in the mountain of Alaric (Aude), resulted in power cuts in France, Spain and Portugal, according to corroborating sources. The Spanish and Portuguese electricity networks have been affected. “The Iberian Peninsula has been disconnected from the European electricity grid”, the electricity transmission network (RTE) said in a statement.

On site, “More than 900 firefighters and rescuers are mobilized” and “152 drops [d’eau] have already been carried out ”, tweeted the Minister of the Interior, Gérard Darmanin, expressing his “Support for [nos] fire soldiers’. They “Remain mobilized all night on the ground to fight against the flames”, for its part ensured civil security.

“The fire is difficult to fight, the working conditions are made difficult by the night”, underlined the commander Jean-Michel Dubois, of the departmental operational center of fire and rescue (Codis) of the Aude. “However, the wind drops and the humidity increases at night”, conditions “More favorable for fighting fire”, estimated the duty officer.

At the start of the night, the firefighters had established “A defensive action”, carrying several vehicles on the road which connects Foncouverte to Fabrezan, while the fire threatened the town of Camplong-d’Aude. The fire broke out early Saturday afternoon for an unknown reason on the central median of the A61 between the towns of Moux and Foncouverte.

From 500 to 800 firefighters mobilized

Fire trucks near the town of Fabrezan, in Aude, July 24, 2021.

Fire trucks near the town of Fabrezan, in Aude, July 24, 2021. IDRISS BIGOU-GILLES / AFP

Ninety people from a district of this town, threatened at one time, had to be evacuated as the fire progressed. The prefecture indicated at the end of the afternoon that the situation was “Stabilized” at Foncouverte. In addition, car traffic was reestablished on the A61 at around 7 p.m.

The device engaged on this operation, which included 500 firefighters from Aude and neighboring departments on Saturday afternoon, was to rise overnight to 800, with personnel from all over the south of France, in particular columns from Hérault. , Bouches-du-Rhône, Drôme, Vaucluse, Lozère, Auvergne and South-West, again indicated Codis 11.

Seven Canadair, two Dash-type water bombers and a Super Puma helicopter supported the ground assets until nightfall. At around 4.30 p.m., the fire led to the very high voltage power line between Perpignan and the west of Narbonne being switched off. The flow of electricity was then transferred to the lines of the western Pyrenees, creating an overload which caused power cuts for 88,000 homes around Perpignan (Pyrénées-Orientales) and 1,000 homes around Biarritz (Pyrenees -Atlantic).

“2,350 MW of electricity have been cut in Spain and around 1,000 MW in Portugal”, specifies the manager of the high voltage networks in his press release. All networks were restored around 5:30 p.m.

The World with AFP

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