A fire, which had already traversed Saturday evening some 850 hectares of vegetation in the mountain of Alaric (Aude), resulted in power cuts in France, Spain and Portugal, we learned from 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 the scene, “more than 900 firefighters and rescuers are mobilized” and “152 drops (water) have already been carried out”, tweeted Gérard Darmanin, expressing his “support for our firefighters”. They “remain mobilized all night on the ground to fight against the flames”, assured for its part the Civil Security.
“The fire is difficult to counter, 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 humidity increases at night,” conditions “more favorable to fight the fire”, estimated the duty officer.
At the beginning of the night, the firefighters had established “a defensive action”, delivering 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.
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” in Foncouverte.
In addition, car traffic was reestablished on the A61 around 7:00 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.
The fire led to around 4.30 p.m. RTE shut down the very high voltage power line between Perpignan and the west of Narbonne.
Electricity flows then shifted to the lines in the western Pyrenees, creating an overload that caused power cuts for 88,000 homes around Perpignan (Pyrénées-Orientales) and 19,000 homes around Biarritz (Pyrénées-Atlantiques) ).
“2,350 MW of electricity have been cut in Spain and around 1,000 MW in Portugal,” said the manager of high voltage networks in his press release.
All the networks were reestablished around 5:30 p.m.