The reopening of general public access will be done “in secure conditions and with guided paths”, underlined the prefect of Gironde Fabienne Buccio in a press release.
The decision was taken with local authorities, firefighters, police and the national forest office.
The municipality of La Teste-de-Buch and the joint management syndicate of the Dune du Pilat site will be responsible for organizing the safety of visitors.
The dune will only be accessible by bus because the car park is more than 60% damaged, the mayor of La Teste-de-Buch Patrick Davet told the press, with very controlled access. Visitors are prohibited from going on the slopes damaged by fire.
“It will be necessary to follow the instructions to the letter” to hope for a reduction in the supervision, added Mr. Davet. “We want to loosen the vice as we go but at the beginning the flows will necessarily be limited. We must do everything to reopen this symbol”.
The prefect clarified on the other hand that in “the absence at this time of sufficient security, access to the burned massifs remains prohibited” in this forest which extends from the dune, where 7,000 ha have gone up in smoke.
Departmental road 218, which connects La Teste-de-Buch to Biscarrosse (Landes) along the dune, will remain closed until the roadway and surroundings are completely secure.
After twelve days and thirteen nights of fighting, the two “outstanding” fires which ravaged nearly 21,000 hectares of forest in Gironde, La Teste-de-Buch and Landiras, and led to the evacuation of some 36,000 people were officially declared “fixed” on Monday, although the work to extinguish them completely will still drag on for weeks.