Near La Rochelle, an SME equips the ONF with fire-fighting kits to counter the outbreak of fire

A 600 liter water reserve, a motor pump to generate pressure, 40 m of hoses and some accessories. Everything fits in the trunk of a pick-up. Here is the kit designed to counter fire starts by Neufoca, an SME based in Périgny (Charente-Maritime), in the agglomeration of La Rochelle. This industrial bodywork company created in 1982 has specialized over the years in the Fight against fires. In January, it won a call for tenders from the ONF (National Forestry Office) to supply agents with 40 to 60 vehicles equipped with the kit per year throughout France, for the next four years.

Already deployed in the south – here in Hérault – Neufoca's fire-fighting kits will be generalized to other risk areas throughout France./DR/Sébastien Rusque
Already deployed in the south – here in Hérault – Neufoca’s fire-fighting kits will be generalized to other risk areas throughout France./DR/Sébastien Rusque

“The objective is not to replace firefighters but to put out incipient fires. Or for example to stop a barbecue of recalcitrant users who refuse to do so. It happened to me last summer, but I didn’t have enough water. It is clearly a plus to have this equipment, ”says Jean-Bernard Duprat, territorial manager of the ONF for Charente-Maritime. In July and August, two of its agents will patrol the Arvert peninsula every day – a wooded area considered to be the most at risk in the department – aboard a pick-up specially arranged by Neufoca.

“The advantage is that they are light, manoeuvrable vehicles that can access certain forest areas more easily. In addition, the kit is a modular product. After the summer, it can be completely removed from the trunk and stored during the winter. It is also aimed at communities, which are sometimes required to monitor forest areas. They can also intervene in the event of flooding because the pump can suck up the water,” emphasizes Adrien de Saint-Denis, CEO of Neufoca. A single kit (without the pick-up) costs between 10,000 and 15,000 euros depending on the options taken.

The first seven vehicles left at the beginning of May in the direction of the forest of Mervent, in Vendée, and in the Vosges. “We were already equipping the south of France but faced with the more global fire risk, it was decided that there would be fires in other high-risk areas throughout the country. Particularly in New Aquitaine, Jura, Seine-et-Marne, Gard, Hautes-Pyrénées, etc. Our challenge this year was to deliver 50 vehicles before the summer with all the supply difficulties that we know. But it will be done! “says the CEO of this company with a dozen employees.

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