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This photo provided by the fire brigade of the Gironde region SDIS 33, (Departmental fire and rescue service 33) shows firefighters tackling a wildfire near Saint-Magne, south of Bordeaux, southwestern France early Friday, Aug. 12, 2022
19 Aug 2022

Headlines from fire & rescue around the world - August 2022

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This is a summary of some of the fire & rescue related news from around the world in August. This list will be updated continuously during the month of August, and will then be archived. In September, we will publish a summary of some of the important events during coming weeks.

If you have news from your area or fire service to report which we may have missed, please do not hesitate to contact us. 

 
Cover Photo (Above):  This photo provided by the fire brigade of the Gironde region SDIS 33, (Departmental fire and rescue service 33) shows firefighters tackling a wildfire near Saint-Magne, south of Bordeaux, southwestern France early Friday, Aug. 12, 2022 

 

 

 

JAPAN: Firefighter died in a restaurant fire in the City of Schizouka

On the night of August 13, a fire broke out at a restaurant in the downtown area of Shizuoka City, and a body was found in the remnant of the burned building. 

The body is likely the remains of a firefighter in his 30s who was involved in extinguishing the fire. At around 10:00 p.m. on the 13th, an employee of a restaurant on the third floor of a building in Kurefucho, Aoi-ku, Shizuoka City, reported to the fire department that "the inside of the store is filled with smoke." The fire burned down the store and spread to other floors, and was extinguished about five hours later. Read more on this story here: 

 

CUBA: 16 firefighters dead after fire in oil depo

A fire on August 5 at an oil depo on Cuba burned for five days, and for several days, 17 firefighters were reported missing.

On August 18, the BBC reported 16 of the missing firefighters dead. Forensic experts said identifying the remains of the dead has been difficult due to the high temperatures inside the fuel depo. 14 of 16 firefighters have been identified. 

Officials said it was the worst fire in Cuban history. The Maritime Executive is one of the sites who has more details on this story.

 

EGYPT: Fire in a church kills more than 40 people

An electrical fire in an Egyptian Coptic Christian church Sunday August caused a panic. At  least 41 people, most of them children, died in the fire. Many others suffered from smoke inhalation, according to Reuters news agency. 

The fire started about 9 am local time in thein the city of Giza, near Cairo. About 1,000 people had gathered. The fire blocked an entrance to the church, causing the panic leading to people being trampled to death as the crowd attempted to flee the fire.

 

FRANCE: European firefighters from several countries join efforts to stop French wildfires

Firefighters from across Europe have arrived in France to help battle several wildfires, including a wildfire  affecting the pine forests in the southwest, according to an article on ABC News on August 12. 

 

The fire in the Gironde region and neighboring Landes has burned more than 74 square kilometers (29 square miles) since Tuesday and has also led to the evacuation of at least 10,000 people. More than 360 firefighters and 100 specialized land vehicles were sent from Germany, Romania, Poland and Austria. They are joining over 1,000 French firefighters already on site. Greece sent two specialized Canadair aircraft. Sweden deployed two two firefighting Air Tractor planes to to help battle a different wildfire, in the Brittany region of western France. 

 

UNITED STATES: Massive fire in a hand sanitizer factory forced a defensive strategy

Nearly 100 firefighters from 15 different agencies responded to a fire in a warehouse containing a large amounts of hand sanitizer in Chickasha, Oklahoma on August 7. Attacking the fire directly with water turned out to be impossible, forcing the fire service to change their strategy.

The warehouse was around 12000 square meters / 120,000 square feet, and according to Chief Tony Samaniego with the Chickasha Fire Department, it was filled about half way with about 8000 pallets of alcohol based hand sanitiser. 

The fire could not be attacked with water because of the highly flammable and hazardous contents inside, and it continued for hours, filling the area with thick black smoke. News9.com has more on this story. 

 

Hail and thunderstorms may follow major heat waves and forest fires

This summer, Europe and many other parts of the world has been marked by heat waves and forest fires. In the UK, the driest month of July since 1935 was recorded and forest fires have been raging close to London. Now, a significant weather change is affecting Western Europe with hail and thunderstorms in the forecast.  

The situation is worrying, according to Jesús San-Miguel at the EU's forest fire data authority, as we are still in the middle of the traditionally volatile fire season. This story here on CTIF.org also provides a brief summary of the heatwaves and forest fires in Europe and beyond during July and early August 2022.