1949 Landes forest fire

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A major wildfire occurred from 19 August 1949 to 25 August 1949 in the Landes forest in France. 50,000 hectares (500 km2) of forest land were burnt - and 82 people killed.[1] It was considered the most deadly forest fire in Europe in modern times[1] until the Mati wildfire of July 23, 2018 in Greece (94 dead as of Aug 12, 2018). As the fires in Attica can be distinguished as a multiple fire event, one can still considered the Landesfire as being the deadliest wildfire in historical time in Europe [2]. The municipalities of Cestas, Saucats, Marcheprime and Mios in the Gironde department were devastated by the forest fire. This very high dead toll of 82 people killed by the landes forest fire provides a real shock in France – and this shock was the starting point for the beginning of the construction of the “Defending Forest against Wildfire” – “Défense de la forêt contre les incendies” System [3].

Bibliography and further reading[edit]

  • Joan Deville, L'Incendie meurtrier dans la forêt des Landes en août 1949, Les Éd. des Pompiers de France, 15 mai 2009, 160 p. (ISBN 978-2916079202) (in French)

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