In the town of Teste-de-Buch, the efforts made have slowed the progression of the fire.
“We are still, and it is a satisfaction, at 3,150 hectares burned, but the fire is still not under control”, declared to the press the sub-prefect of Arcachon Ronan Léaustic, who welcomed the “enormous intensity and mobilization” of firefighters at night “to maintain this perimeter”.
“Today, we are maintaining the head of fire, especially in the south, which prevents it from progressing towards the Landes but (…) we are not immune to a recovery”, details for his part, Lieutenant-Colonel Olivier Chavatte of the departmental fire and rescue service (Sdis). “We have almost 30 kilometers of edge so it’s a titanic job”.
In 24 hours, the Sdis “had to face 22 departures of forest fires in the department of Gironde”, underlined the prefecture at midday on Twitter.
Recoveries have taken place in recent hours on the side of the Lagune and Petit-Nice beaches south of the Dune du Pilat, said the mayor of Teste-de-Buch, Patrick Davet, as well as the firefighters.
The day before, some 450 families were able to recover their personal effects in the five campsites evacuated from the sector.
Around 2:30 p.m., a convoy secured by the police was leaving for the village of Cazaux to allow the inhabitants to “recover their animals”, noted AFP journalists.
In the municipalities of Landiras and Guillos further east, however, the fire continues to progress, with now “more than 7,000 hectares” burned, said the prefecture on Twitter.
Due to the “very unfavorable” situation, with winds pushing the fires towards the southwest, the order was given at the beginning of the afternoon to proceed with the evacuation of the “village of Tuzan, the hamlet of Villagrain in the town of Cabanac-et-Villagrain and, in the town of Hostens, the town and the nautical base”.
– Blackened beaches –
A total of 1,200 firefighters are mobilized on Saturday on both fronts. Five water bomber planes (3 Canadair and a Dash) are currently flying over the areas, according to Sdis.
On site, many bulldozers are also used to set up firebreaks (or clear cuts) in order to slow down and block the flames.
Since Tuesday, “more than 12,200” residents and vacationers have had to leave the premises. Five emergency accommodation centers and a medico-psychological emergency cell were opened to support the victims.
On the banks of the Cazaux and Sanguinet ponds, fallout from the smoke from the La Teste fire blackened the beaches, photographed and published by many people on social networks. There is “no proven toxicity” and swimming “is therefore not prohibited”, said the municipality of Biscarosse on Facebook.
Thursday, vigilance “forest fires” went up a notch in Gironde which went red (scale 4/5), as in the neighboring department of Landes since Friday morning.
These fires, which did not cause any casualties, were triggered at the start of the heat wave episode which has affected France since Monday, mainly in the west and the south, where the maximum will remain very high, with values between 35°C and 40°C, according to Météo-France.
The Gironde is kept on orange “heat wave” vigilance by Météo-France, like fifteen other departments.
Firefighters were also concentrated elsewhere in France to fight fires such as in the Montagnette massif, south of Avignon, where 650 of them remained mobilized to “monitor and treat hot spots and edges” of the now fixed fire, which covered almost 1,500 hectares.
Due to the mistral (25 km / h with gusts of up to 45 km / h), “the firefighters maintain extreme vigilance”, said the firefighters of Bouches-du-Rhône.
In Brittany, in the town of Verger, west of Rennes, a fire destroyed 20 to 25 hectares of vegetation on Friday, according to the Departmental Fire and Rescue Operational Center. The fire was set Saturday morning.