4,000 hectares burned, “it’s the apocalypse” confides a firefighter

New outbreaks of fires were reported on Tuesday August 9 in the municipalities of Hostens, Saint-Magne and Cabanac-et-Villagrains, in South Gironde. These lights are border of Landiras, town affected by historic fires in July. 4,000 hectares had burned on Wednesday morning and 3,500 people were evacuated. The fire has reached the neighboring department of Landes, 200 hectares are affected Follow the situation with France Bleu Gironde and France Bleu Gascogne

The essential

  • According to the firefighters, 4,000 hectares had burned including 200 in the Landes according to the prefect of the department
  • Tuesday evening, the firefighters judged the situation to be “very very unfavorable” in the Hostens sector because of the rotating winds
  • 3,500 people have been evacuated in the South-Gironde, announced the prefecture, more than 200 in the Landes the neighboring department
  • The fire returns to Belin-Béliet, part of the town will be evacuated assures the mayor of Salles on France Bleu Gironde
  • The Cabanac fire is no longer progressing
  • What should you take with you in case of evacuation? We make you the list in this article.

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Listen to France Bleu Gascogne, for the fire in the Landes

“Very very unfavorable” situation in South Gironde

With the drought, the firefighters felt like they were sitting on a powder keg in the South-Gironde. It exploded on Tuesday evening. At 11:30 p.m., 4,000 hectares had already burned in the South-Gironde and in the Landes according to the Landes firefighters. These fires have been qualified as “virulent” by the firefighters who assess the situation “very very unfavorable” this Wednesday morning due to shifting winds. 300 of them are mobilized as well as air assets. Firefighters use tactical fires to stop the spread of flames.

“It’s huge, we experienced a day comparable (Tuesday, editor’s note) to what we experienced three weeks ago” says Frédéric Perrin, president of the DFCI in charge of protecting the forest from fires “We thought we had control of it but the fire resumed. It rushed on a north-south axis carried by winds, it skirted Hostens lake encircling the cycle path, with a very violent font. I believe that there is a terrible fight in the Landes”. This Wednesday morning, the mayor of Salles Bruno Bureau describes the landscape: “The sky is all black, it is filled with smoke”.

“It’s the apocalypse”

“It’s the apocalypse” testified this Wednesday a firefighter from Lot-et-Garonne. The night from Tuesday to Wednesday was very complicated. The firefighters do “the war against the flames 30 meters high” tells our reporter on the spot this Wednesday morning. “The blaze is impossible to watch with the naked eye at the risk of burning your retina” he continues.

The fire in Cabanac is no longer progressing

On Tuesday, a fire also broke out around 3 p.m. in Cabanac, north of the previously affected area. He stopped progressing in the evening. 20 hectares of forest were destroyed, and 80 firefighters were mobilized, with the reinforcement of a canadair and a Dash aircraft.

In July, violent fires had ravaged 13,800 hectares in South Gironde. Since Monday, August 1, the department was returned to red alert for the risk of forest fires. Traffic is prohibited in the forest areas of 159 Gironde municipalities.

Firefighters mobilized in the Hostens and Saint-Magne sector © Maxppp
Claude Small

Destroyed houses

The fire spares nothing in the South-Gironde. 16 houses were destroyed in Belin-Béliet near Hostens. A firefighter was slightly injured.

bruno office mayor of rooms “the sky is all black, it is filled with smoke” at 6:10 a.m. the fire changed direction, I had confirmation that part of the town of Belin-Béliet was going to be evacuated. this represents 2,000 people, explains the mayor of Salles

Preventive evacuations

This Tuesday evening, the prefecture announced that 3,500 people had been evacuated the towns of Hostens and Saint-Magne as well as the Joué district in Belin-Béliet. The neighborhoods of Bruyères, Les Gravats, Galipe, Haut du Lac and Haudoua were also evacuated. Earlier in the day, the mayor of Hostens Jean-Louis Dartiailh also mentioned the evacuation of the Frayot and Aroudeys districts.

The evacuees are welcomed in the village hall of Hostens. The municipality has activated its crisis unit. Reception points have also been set up at the Belin-Béliet village hall, at the Salles dojo and at the Douence village hall in Saint-Magne. In addition to the 3,500 people evacuated, “part of the municipality of Belin-Béliet” will be evacuated according to the mayor of Belin-Béliet. “That represents 2,000 people” explains Bruno Bureau.

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Met by our reporter on the spot in Hostens, an evacuated resident observes the situation live on his smartphone thanks to the surveillance camera of his home, as shown in the photo below.

An evacuated resident observes the situation live on his smartphone thanks to the surveillance camera of his home
An evacuated resident observes the situation live on his smartphone thanks to the surveillance camera of his home © Radio France
Philippe Peyre
The security PC installed in the Hostens village hall
The security PC installed in the Hostens village hall © Radio France
Philippe Peyre

The inhabitants who had to leave their homes in a hurry are increasing their calls for insurance and are looking for solutions for this night, as our reporter on the spot indicates. For many, the emotion is strong.

The inhabitants evacuated to the village hall of Hostens
The inhabitants evacuated to the village hall of Hostens © Radio France
Philippe Peyre

The situation in the Landes, 200 hectares burned

According to the prefect of Landes, 200 hectares burned in the department. The South-Gironde fire being the limit of the Landes, the prefecture of the department announced the evacuation of 215 people of the town of Mano and Moustey. These evacuations concern several hamlets: Pichemonge (Mano), Peyrin, Capsus, Lombard, Lesbarere (Moustey). “At this stage, no homes are affected by the flames”on the Landes side, specifies the prefecture of the department. “The fire is still very active, virulent” assures François Taheri, “during the day the wind will push the flames towards the Landes” she specifies, adding that the forest of Moustey More than 170 firefighters are mobilized in the Landes sector.

The prefecture also announced that two firefighters were injured. One is slightly injured due to an incident with a truck, the other is burned in the calves and was taken to hospital in Mont-de-Marsan.

Fire set in the Médoc

In the Médoc, near Sainte-Hélène, a fire was also reported. About fifteen hectares went up in smoke. At the end of the day, the fire was fixed, that is to say that it is no longer progressing. Substantial means have been mobilised, in particular air.

The resources mobilized

In all, on the three sites, two Canadair, two Dash (water bomber planes), two Puma (water bomber helicopters) as well as ground resources were mobilized this Tuesday at the end of the day.

Closed roads

Due to the fires, four roads are cut, indicates the department of Gironde.

  • RD 110 closed between Hostens and Louchats
  • RD 5 closed between Saint Magne and the D5/D651 intersection
  • RD 651 closed between Hostens and Route de Hazera intersection
  • RD 6 closed between Lacanau Bourg and Sainte Hélène

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