French residents face fines over brush

People who live in areas at risk from wildfires face hefty fines if they fail to clear trees and brush from land surrounding their property.

30 May 2018
By Connexion journalist

Anyone living within 200m of a wood or forest is required to clear 50m around buildings and work sites to limit the spread of fire, which last July destroyed more than 7,000 hectares of forest in France.

Prefectures put up notices of at-risk areas but these include Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Occitan­ie and Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur regions and the dep­art­ments of Ardèche and Drôme, where mayors can potentially double the cleared perimeter to 100m.

The measures should allow firefighters to tackle any outbreaks bette.

Non-compliance could see fines of up to €30/m² for the area of uncleared land, although mairies will notify owners of action needed.

They then have a month to complete the work, after which if it is not done the mairie can arrange for it to be carried out by a contractor at the resident’s expense.

Failure to clear land round your property can also invalidate your house insurance in the event of damage by wildfire, or reduce the amount of compensation paid out.

Other preventative action that residents must take includes regular pruning and disposing of garden waste, fallen leaves and pine needles.

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