A 75 year old farmer in Saint-André-de-Sangonis, Hérault, was caught out by a fire he had lit to clear some land.
The owner of the 2,000-square-metre plot was badly burned in the face and lower limbs, as he tried to put out the fire which he had started himself.
Clermont-l’Hérault police officers were patrolling the area, and spotted the problem, calling the fire service. A police officer was intoxicated by the fumes as he tried to help before the fire fighters arrived.
The farmer and the police officer were transported to hospital, but the farmer later died of his injuries.
Thanks to the intervention of firefighters, a nearby house was saved. The poorly controlled burning sadly cost the farmer his life.
It is common practice to burn land in the country to clear it from unwanted weeds. If you are starting a fire yourself, you are obliged to contact the fire service before you start. They will say whether you are permitted to start a fire, and they will have someone on hand in case the fire gets out of control. Had the farmer done that, the fire service would have told him that the season for starting fires has long finished.
Source: Midi Libre