PARIS, FRANCE — Farmers were ordered to stop harvesting in Oise, France, after hundreds of acres caught fire during the recent heatwave, Reuters reported.
More than 500 acres in the Oise region caught fire, with at least one farmer reportedly killed and several firefighters injured battling the blaze. Oise is France’s second largest grain-producing region.
Authorities put an indefinite suspension on threshing in Oise, citing the risk of fires and risk to the local population.
The region is France’s fifth largest producer of soft wheat, the main grain currently being harvested, Reuters said.
It was the first time the authorities have ordered a halt to the harvest in Oise, FNSEA, France’s largest farm union, said.
More than 500 hectares of land caught fire on Tuesday alone in the department, a record, local fire authorities said on Twitter. Several firemen were hurt while trying to put out the fires.
Temperatures this week broke records in many parts of northern France and elsewhere in western Europe, Reuters said.
Oise was one of 20 administrative departments this week placed under ‘red alert’ — the highest warning level — in northern France by state forecaster Meteo France. By July 26, this had been downgraded to ‘yellow’, the third highest level of alert.