With Gaffofeu, children will be made aware of the risk of forest fires

With Gaffofeu, children will be made aware of the risk of forest fires
With Gaffofeu, children will be made aware of the risk of forest fires

Thursday May 23 and Friday May 24, Gaffofeu, a prevention village designed to strengthen the public’s culture of risk regarding forest fires, will take over Place Jean-Jaurès with a dense program, the result of significant partnership work. State services, public operators, communities and associations, in collaboration with the French Institute of Major Risks and Environmental Protection Trainers (IFFO-RME), will dedicate these two days to schoolchildren, from CM1 to 5th grade.

Thirteen workshops offered

On this occasion, the testimony of René Doussière, former mayor of Portes, a great witness to the 1985 fire which ravaged 10,000 hectares, will be presented as will a series of photos of which he is the author. Thirteen additional workshops will complete the village, geared towards welcoming school and college students. IFFO-RME will host a workshop entitled “The forest and me”, followed by “Risques on display”, a joint presentation with the Prefecture to identify major risks. The “Alert’Ofeux” role-playing games, organized by the Prefecture, will allow participants to familiarize themselves with crisis management. The French Red Cross is offering “I pack my suitcase: Family safety kit”, while the CRF and UDSP 30 will offer training on “Gestures that save”. The Prefecture and the DDTM will present the forest areas with “Cart’O feu”, and the ONF will encourage vigilance with “Keep an eye on your forest”.

Sdis 30 will be present to show fire-fighting equipment and explain how to send an alert message in the event of a fire. The Gard gendarmerie will host a workshop on finding the causes of fire, and the Prévention MAIF association will offer the game “O hazards”. Alès Agglomération will organize a fun workshop, and Météo France will present “Vigi’météo” to provide information on weather forecasts. Finally, the Le Merlet association will explore the relationship between “Fires and biodiversity”.

Reduce the vulnerability of populations

This first in the department, which will pass through Alès and Nîmes, aims to establish good behavior and reduce the vulnerability of populations. For its part, the prefecture recalls, in a few figures, that in 70 years, the forest area has doubled in the Gard. Today it covers 50% of the territory with approximately 289,317 hectares. The proportion of Gardois living less than 200 meters from a forest has increased, in 20 years, from 32% to 44%. “With climate change and the increase in forested areas, the risk of forest fires has increased while awareness of this risk among the population remains low.”

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