Nearly 340 hectares of forest were burnt Friday in Gironde at several fires. Most importantly mobilized 180 firefighters in the evening, while 80 houses were evacuated as a precaution.
320 hectares of pine forest in smoke
The main fire started around 14.30 in the municipality of Saint-Jean d’Illac, 20 km west of Bordeaux. At 22:30, over 320 hectares of pine forest, helped by the wind, were destroyed. The situation was still “unfavorable” and fire “not fixed” around 22:30 according to the Operational Centre County Fire and Rescue (CODIS), which however was betting on the fall of the wind and humidity before morning. The fight against the fire, however, should spill over into Saturday.
Nearly 48 fire trucks were on site the evening, including reinforcements from neighboring departments, Landes, Charente-Maritime, Lot-et-Garonne particular. Four Canadair and Bombardier Dash water from Marignane (Bouches-du-Rhône) was attended by firefighters from 18:00 until night.
As a precaution, 40 homes were evacuated in the evening on Saint-Jean-d’Illac and 40 others in the neighboring commune of Pessac, most opting for staying with relatives. “No house has been destroyed,” said the Prefect of the Aquitaine Region and prefect of the Gironde, Pierre Dartout. An area of Travellers were also evacuated in the afternoon. The 63 families supported by the police and the municipality of Saint-Jean d’Illac.
Another fire in La Teste-de-Buch
The efforts of the firefighters were also distracted by another fire of pine forest, which broke out around 17 hours to 50 km to the south-west, La Teste-de-Buch and Gujan-Mestras, towns bordering the Basin Arcachon. More than 75 firefighters, backed by Canadair fought against this fire will ultimately circumscribed shortly after 20:00, after destroying a dozen hectares of forest. Also on this sector, the Traveller area was evacuated while firefighters secure a stud farm and two houses. Two county roads were cut off.
Two other fires
Two other small fires Friday south of Bordeaux, near Salles, were quickly mastered after destroying about one hectare of pine forest each. Occurred near the A63 linking Bordeaux to Spain, they have led to delays on the road vacation, but not cut the axis.
The multiple fire starts in one day only not a rare occurrence in summer in the forest in the southwest including Gironde, covered 45% forest. One of the most important in recent years had destroyed more than 650 hectares of pine forest in August 2014 near Lacanau, no casualties.