Fire advice during current drought crisis

We’ve all been discussing the water shortage and the latest restrictions imposed by local authorities, but what about fire? According to L’Indépendent, the regulations usually implemented for the high summer season (1st June – 30th September) have been moved forward and are already in place now.

Fires already across the region

Back in February, a fire typical of July or August ravaged 60 hectares of vegetation in Torreilles. In April, 900 hectares went up in flames along the coast between Banyuls and Cerbère, closing certain sections of the well-loved walking track, le Sentier littoral (details here). In May, we’ve already seen two fires, one in Argelès, the other in Saint Cyprien.

With very little rain in the forecast, and the mercury rising, we need to be more careful than ever with our fire usage.


Burning vegetation

In principle, burning vegetation in the garden is prohibited all year round except for properties with a legal obligation to clear scrub. In view of the exceptional drought and the elevated risk of fire, it is therefore formally forbidden to burn plants, in any zone.

Any fire in a natural area is prohibited.


You can have a BBQ at home if it is next to your house and surrounded by a non-combustible area at least 3m wide. You can also light BBQs in the public BBQ areas provided. All other locations are forbidden.

Fireworks & fags

Except for municipally-organised festivities, all fireworks are forbidden. It should go without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: IT IS FORBIDDEN TO THROW CIGARETTE BUTTS ANYWHERE BUT DESIGNATED BINS AND ASH TRAYS.



According to the P-O fire investigation unit, a whopping 9 out of 10 local fires are started by human activity, with 1 out of 4 started deliberately!

Accidental or reckless fires are punishable by up to one year in prison and a 15,000€ fine.

Arson is punishable by 10 years in prison and a fine of 150,000€.

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