“All the inhabitants evacuated” in a preventive manner from La Teste-de-Buch are now “authorized to return to their homes, with the support of the national police”, also announced the prefecture in a press release.

In total, these “megafires” have devoured nearly 21,000 hectares of forest in Gironde since July 12 and forced more than 36,000 inhabitants or holidaymakers to evacuate their accommodation, including 6,000 holidaymakers evacuated from campsites in the very touristy Pilat dune who then were destroyed by the flames.

The fires caused no casualties, authorities said.

In Landiras, about forty kilometers south of Bordeaux, the fire which burned 13,800 hectares of forest is “not yet fixed”, “due to the risk of recovery”, specified the prefecture. This fire is still considered “contained”.

“About thirty homes remaining active, the surveillance of this massif, the treatment of the edges and the resumption of fire as well as the civil engineering work are continuing”, according to the press release.

“The situation continues to improve,” said the prefecture.

Two Canadairs and two forest fire attack helicopters remain mobilized while 1,300 firefighters were still hard at work on Friday on the two sites, even if now “columns of extra-zonal firefighters are gradually returning to their department”.

According to the firefighters, a fire is “fixed” when they think it will not progress any further. It is then “under control”, then “extinguished” and must then be “monitored”.

According to the prefect of Gironde Fabienne Buccio, who spoke on Friday evening, declaring these two fires “extinguished, that will be another matter, it will take some time”.

– “Crisis exit” –

If all the evacuees from the La Teste-de-Buch area can now return home, which some had been authorized to do on Thursday by the prefecture, a little less than a third of the 16,000 people evacuated from municipalities in the area of Landiras have yet to be given the green light to return.

But “the authorities continue to study sector by sector (their) possibilities of reintegration”, assures the prefecture.

Saturday afternoon, the inhabitants of four municipalities in the sector – Le Tuzan, Balizac, Saint-Léger-de-Balson and Saint-Symphorien (except five hamlets) – were able to reopen their shutters. In the morning, it was those of Cazaux, a town of La Teste-de Buch evacuated on July 14, who had already been able to return to their homes.

The prefecture has also authorized boating again on the western part of Lake Cazaux-Sanguinet and in the southern pass of the entrance to the Arcachon basin.

The prefect must bring together elected officials and economic actors from the two affected sectors on Monday to “prepare for the end of the crisis on the economic level”.

The Nouvelle-Aquitaine Regional Health Agency indicated on Friday that after initial data records, “the health impact of the fires seems very moderate on the general population”. She says she is cautious because the data analyzed does not cover the private practice sector which may have been solicited.

The fumes from the “megafires” in Gironde were felt on Tuesday in part of France, in particular as far as Paris, affecting air quality.

Faced with the scale of the crisis and the beginning of a controversy over the means of fighting forest fires in France, President Emmanuel Macron traveled to Gironde on Wednesday, where he stressed that France had to equip itself “more” firefighting aircraft.

According to the President of the Republic, the 22 Civil Protection planes were “enough in recent years. (…) Do we need more? The answer is yes”.