In Gironde, this Sunday, July 17th, is yet another difficult day for bushfire firefighters. On land, as well as in the air, all means were mobilized to try to slow the fire’s progress. Update the situation.
- 4pm: new evacuation near Landiras
Authorities ordered an evacuation from the town of Cabanac. City Hall asked the 2,100 residents involved to plan to bring medicine, some belongings and made it clear that this evacuation is “prevent wind gusts.“
This evacuation brought more than 16,000 people to shelter from the fire.
In total, in this field, 7,500 hectares burned, equivalent to 300 hectares in one day.
- 3 p.m.: what tactics to try to contain the fires?
4 Canadian planes, 2 Dash planes: air support is an essential weapon in the fight against two unusual fires at La Teste-de-Buch and Landiras. Means are important but alone is not enough.
So, on the ground, the firefighters engaged in a tactical battle: they fight fire with fire. A few meters away from a large fire, they voluntarily light a fire for better control: what firefighters call a “directed fire.”
Firefighters from Gard and Lozère arrive. They are experts in this counterattack technique. “Our flames approach the flame and they attract each other and when it runs out of fuel it stops“, explained Lieutenant Fabrice Issarte, of SDIS Lozère.
Since Tuesday, July 12, more than 10,500 hectares have been destroyed in Gironde. And despite the mobilization of more than 1,200 firefighters, the fire has continued to burn in recent hours.
With each battle won the flame will fight again. The flames will search for food elsewhere, launch themselves further, jumping paths for fuel.
And firefighters can’t be everywhere. To help them, behind the front, in the woods near Landiras, FDII volunteers cross territory they know so well and track down the tiniest spark.
► VIDEOS. Report of Vivien Roussel and Astrid Farbos
- 2:00 pm: how is the evacuation of animals organized?
On the evening of July 16, when the fire was under control in the Cazaux area, residents who evacuated midweek were able to return home for a short time. to be able to collect their pets. Dogs and cats are safe, other animals, wild or domestic, must remain sheltered. Volunteers campaign to evacuate goats and ponies…
>>> Our Articles / Fire in Gironde: The fate of wild animals, farmed and housed
- 1:00pm: mid-day update
The situation was still very unfavorable on the Landiras front. The main goal is still to protect the population, conserve sensitive spots and limit the spread of fire. In total, 7,200 hectares burned in this area. 4,100 people have been evacuated, including 1,900 people yesterday alone, Saturday 16 July.
In La Teste-de-Buch, firefighters are focusing all their efforts on the fire fighting front. On the right flank, the campsites, threatened last night, continue to be protected. On the right side, it is a matter of preserving the houses. In total, 3,400 hectares were smoked in La Teste-de-Buch and 10,000 people had to be evacuated.
- 11:30 am: “What is happening here is definitely an environmental disaster”
Gérard Larcher was this morning at the operational headquarters in La Teste-de-Buch. The President of the Senate recognized the situation and spoke of the disaster “after”. “Forests are a key asset. What is happening here is definitely an environmental disaster. This disaster requires us to shed tears during the fire, but behind the scenes we must have solutions. “
Gérard Larcher praises the work done by state agencies, SDIS, firefighters, army, gendarmerie, police, rangers of ONF, DFCI…
The President of the Senate also has thoughts for the volunteers.
- 10:15 am: solidarity is held
After more than 5 days of struggling, the fire brigade was still mobilized. More than 1,200 firefighters are deployed on the La Teste-de-Buch and Landiras fronts. Their comfort? Help is provided spontaneously by residents.
>>> Our article / Wildfires in Gironde: how people come to the aid of firefighters
- 9:30 am: the fire is still continuing
According to the last point of the province of Gironde, the situation remains unfavorable in La Teste-de-Buch. Campsites that were threatened last night by strong winds have now been secured.
In Landiras, the situation”is contained on the left“, but the fire progressed on the right front flank. “The rear is stabilized”, especially thanks to the creation of a strip of white sand with a length of more than 2km at the edge.
The province recounts that Gironde was put in a state of bushfire on alert and that into prohibited forest areas.
►In this NASA-provided image, the fire’s progression between July 16 and 17, 2022. In yellow, the areas affected 24 hours ago, in red and burgundy, the affected area for at least 6 hours.
- 8:30 a.m.: Senate President in place
Gérard Larcher, the President of the Senate, who had just arrived at the Operational Command (PCO) Cazaux, had moved to the front of the zoo. About the program: overview of deployed vehicles and fire assessment in La Teste-de-Buch, 5 days after the fire started. As for the fire brigade, the fire left four people with minor injuries. Physically: a truck overturned and a truck caught fire.
Goal of the day: contain and manage to overcome the fire of La Teste-de-Buch, limiting the spread of the fire to Landiras as much as possible thanks to fire zones and tactical fires. Six surface bombers will be mobilized today: 4 Canadianairs and 2 Dash.
- 8 am: evening review
Firefighters had to deal with multiple fires overnight from Saturday to Sunday. In Teste-de-Buch, according to the first assessment shared by the province this morning, the campsites of Dune du Pilat, have been threatened. Having emptied their vacations, it was the guards that had to be evacuated. Another 200 hectares have smoked in this area, which is a total of 3,400.
In Landiras, no new evacuations took place. The fire has not yet been extinguished. 100 hectares burned that night, or a total of 7,100.
Yesterday, Saturday, in the evening, some residents of Cazaux were finally able to return home for a short time to collect their pets.
>>> Report of our conference on francinfo / Fire in Gironde: almost 300 pets rescued in Cazaux village
Since July 12, two major wildfires have ravaged Gironde. These fires did not injure civilians, but displaced more than 14,000 people. Firefighters fight day and night to protect property and people.