Four colors - green, yellow, orange and red - for one major purpose: to prevent fire hazards. After a devastating summer 2022, a new "Forest Weather" will be broadcast daily by Météo-France from Friday, June 2, in order to raise public awareness of possible fire outbreaks in the territory.
The first map broadcast Thursday evening in preview by TF1 shows an all-green France (low risk), with the exception of a few departments in yellow (moderate risk) mainly grouped to the south-west of Paris (Eure-et-Loir, Sarthe, Mayenne…). This new map presents the degree of risk at the departmental level by a color code ranging from green to red (very high) through yellow and orange (high).
It will be published every day at 5 p.m. during the summer period, at least until the end of September, and available on the meteofrance.com website and the Météo-France mobile application. It will appear alongside the beach weather forecast or the marine weather forecast.
"This will allow each Frenchman to know what the level of risk is in the department where he is" and to "remember the good gestures", estimates the Elysée.
This type of card is already present in other countries such as Canada, the United States, Spain or Greece.
The launch of this new forest weather forecast, scheduled for June 1, has been postponed by one day to coincide with a visit by President Emmanuel Macron to civil security in the Gard intended more broadly to "prepare for summer" with the actors responsible for firefighting.
“90% of fires are human-caused”
Europe was hit by record fires in 2022. In France, the summer marked by megafires in Gironde and the 72,000 hectares that went up in smoke during the year – six times more than the average for recent years – accelerated collective awareness of the issues related to global warming. According to the Elysée, this year on May 21, the number of hectares burned was already 21,000, against 15,000 ha in 2022 at the same time.
"90% of fires are of human origin and more than half come from stupid gestures: cigarette butts, barbecues, grinders", recently recalled the Minister of Ecological Transition, Christophe Béchu.
The hotter and drier it is, the more vegetation can catch fire, and the more the fire can spread. Global warming compounds these risks. Temperatures above 30 degrees, combined with air humidity below 30% and wind speeds above 30 km/h, are often cited by professionals as being the most likely to cause departures and rapid spread of fires.
The "Forest Weather" is established by Météo-France "from observations and forecasts of several meteorological parameters (temperature, rain, wind force, air humidity) and the state of drought vegetation ".