Fires in Gironde: 10,500 additional people authorized to return home

In the Landiras sector, where 13,800 hectares have burned since July 12, 6,500 people could return to their homes on Friday evening. Some 4,000 others, the inhabitants of the town of Cazaux in La Teste de-Buch, a town where the fire has devoured 7,000 hectares of forest, will be able to do so on Saturday from 9 a.m.

“There is an improvement in both sites but the lights are not fixed,” said Ms. Buccio. “We are in the beginning of a return to normal, in particular with the reintegration of the inhabitants”.

“We will first declare the fires fixed, I think (it will be done) quite quickly, before declaring them extinguished, which will take some time,” added the prefect.

In the Landiras sector, it is the municipalities of Villandrault, Noaillan, Budos, Léogeats and Landiras (except the hamlet of Manine), i.e. 6,500 displaced persons, who are affected by a return from Friday evening. “We will have (thus) reintegrated two-thirds of the population” evacuated from this sector.

On the edges of the very touristy Bassin d’Arcachon, near the famous dune of Pilat, the 4,000 inhabitants of the town of Cazaux, who had been evacuated on July 14, will be able to return to their homes on Saturday morning.

Since the start of the two fires ten days ago, more than 36,000 residents and holidaymakers had been forced to pack up urgently as a preventive measure.

Thursday, faced with the lull, nearly 6,000 evacuees had already been able to return to their homes, including 3,500 in Teste-de-Buch, the rest in Cabanac-et-Villagrains, Budos and Saint-Magne in the Landiras sector.

The director general of ARS Nouvelle-Aquitaine Benoît Elleboode clarified that the people evacuated from Ehpad were not yet concerned by returns to their homes.

More than 20,000 hectares of forest have been destroyed in Gironde since the start of the fires, which have not progressed since Wednesday while “significant resources” remain committed according to firefighters.

The latter continue “the treatment of edges and hot spots” which smoke and can cause resumption of fire if they are not cooled.

“We treated about thirty fire starts on the two sites”, explained Friday the fire chief of Gironde Marc Vermeulen, who declared himself “optimistic for the future”, even if he is wary of Sunday “with temperatures above 30ºC” at both sites.

Some 1,400 firefighters were mobilized on Friday, he said.

Due to the smoke from the fires, a suspended particle alert procedure has been underway in Gironde and in the Landes since Thursday, with messages aimed at sensitive populations.

Leave a Comment