In parallel with this fire, which destroys day after day the pine forest backed by the Dune du Pilat, near Arcachon, another fire broke out on Tuesday in Gironde and has already consumed 4,700 hectares in Landiras, in the south of department.

These two disasters, which did not cause any casualties, were “still not fixed” on Friday evening despite the 1,000 firefighters and the four aircraft involved. The area burned “will increase further”, warned the prefect Fabienne Buccio.

On the shores of Lake Cazaux, the passage of the flames left the carcasses of buildings.

The restaurant La Petite Playa has completely burned down. His tables and chairs are neatly aligned but all charred. A few meters further, the restaurant Au Bô Site was spared, like the small port.

This is the result of the work of the firefighters who were able to repel the onslaught of flames and “stop the head” of fire, assures AFP Commander Laurent Dellac, spokesperson for the firefighters. “There were tunnels of fire, you have to imagine a ball of fire,” he says.

In addition to this restaurant, three houses and a few cabins were destroyed in Cazaux, a village in the very large and very wooded town of La Teste-de-Buch, whose 4,000 inhabitants were evacuated on Thursday.

Friday, the town was deserted and the ground covered with still hot ashes. In the surrounding forest, fumaroles rise from the feet of charred trees and firefighters water to avoid resumption of fire.

On site, police officers ensure that the buildings are uninhabited and check that there is no vandalism.

On the only road that leads from the center of La Teste to the town of Cazaux, a couple in their seventies is waiting. “We come to the news because we left our animals” at home, they say, worried.

“Our daughter is hosting us but we have no business, just what we have on us,” the couple said. She wears a dress with pink flowers and he wears shorts and a white polo shirt.

– “Tree by tree” –

According to Pascal Berillon, elected municipal official in La Teste and himself evacuated from Cazaux, the operation was carried out “calmly”. Suddenly, “it became all black, the flames were getting closer, there was no need for long explanations for people to understand the danger.”

“If we had not made the decision to evacuate, we would not only be talking about the material toll” but “deaths”, underlined Ronan Léaustic, sub-prefect of Arcachon.

Cazaux “is saved”, he welcomed. “The firefighters fought hand to hand, tree by tree, house by house”.

Not far away, the site of the Canadian company Vermilion, the leading oil producer in France, and the wastewater treatment plant, “are no longer threatened at this stage”, according to the prefecture.

If “the situation stabilizes” in La Teste, according to this same source, it “remains very unfavorable” in the Landiras sector, about forty km south of Bordeaux. Evacuations were taking place there on Friday evening.

In their relentless fight against the flames, the firefighters notably implement “tactical fires”, which consist of “burning plots to create virgin areas and stem the spread of the fire”, explained to AFP the commander Matthieu John, spokesperson.

In total, these fires ravaged nearly 8,000 hectares and forced the evacuation of nearly 12,000 people, including 10,000 in La Teste. Among them, some 6,000 campers, housed in an exhibition center.

After two days of uncertainty, they were able to return to collect their personal belongings, thanks to specially chartered buses. Those who had to recover their caravan were escorted by the police with their personal vehicle.

“After two days of hardship, we are finally calm,” said Madjie, on vacation with her son. “But I didn’t get everything back, I left what was not essential at the campsite”.