Forty metres above the forest, searching for smoke


The network of 22 watchtowers dotting this forest in Gironde in southern France is the first line of defence against wildfires, which can begin with just a wisp of smoke on the horizon. Escutia, a former moving company owner, has a contract with the fire service to work up in the tower for six months, over the summer fire season, but he also works outside of his contract as a volunteer. He is in his fourth year on the fire service. When the July blaze was really bad, a handful of times…



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Written by Bourbiza Mohamed

I have 26 years of experience as a professional writer and editor and have been working as a full time freelancer since 2011. I am originally from Casablanca, Morocco, and I graduated from Qatar University with a degree in journalism. I have worked for newspapers, magazines, news agencies, websites. I speak fluent Arabic, French, English, Russian and Spanish.

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