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French Polynesian firefighters en route to La Gironde

Monday 15 August 2022 | Written by RNZ | Published in French Polynesia, Regional

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French Polynesian firefighters en route to La Gironde
Flames from a wildfire near Belin-Beliet, southwestern France, 11 August, 2022. Photo: AFP / Thibaud Moritz

A team of French Polynesian fire-fighters have volunteered and are en route to help with bush fires in France.

The first contingent of 14 firemen flew to the region of La Gironde today.

For five days, the fire named Landiras-2 has ravaged the region.

Rainfall over the weekend has helped slow the blaze which has already destroyed more than 7,400 hectares of forest.

Six other fire-fighters are expected to join the team from French Polynesia at a later date.

The fire-fighters come from local fire-stations in Paea, Pirae, Papara, Teva I Uta and Vairao and Papeari.

The joint chief of the squad from Taiarapu West Haamoe Hoata told la Premiere that the country was happy to help out.

"The country has agreed to go. It is a very perilous journey and it is also why we have chosen to do it.

"We are ready to combat these flames with our comrades."

According to French authorities the fire is under control but not yet extinguished.

French President Emmanuelle Macron tweeted in recognition of the firemen arriving.

"From the other side of the world they arrive to come help their comrades who fight against the flames in Gironde:

"thank you for our firemen in Polynesia for their solidarity. Maururu"

Fire-fighters from six other countries have also responded to help put out the fires in France.