At noon, the disaster destroyed more than 330 hectares of pine forest and forced the evacuation of 120 homes and a nursing home.
Nearly 300 firefighters, more than 60 trucks coming from Gironde and four neighboring departments, continued into the night to fight against the fire, of unknown origin, who took to 2:30 p.m. Saturday pine forest in Saint-Jean-d’Illac, 20 km west of Bordeaux.
Firefighters dealing with strong part
The fire, attacking older and younger pines and dense stands, was aided by winds from west-northwest, reaching 50 km / h in the evening Friday and turns, which caused several swings of fire, complicating the task of firefighters, told AFP Lieutenant Colonel Eric Pitault.
The Prefect of the Region of Aquitaine and Gironde, Pierre Dartout, present on site, told AFP that 40 homes were evacuated evening in Saint-Jean-d’Illac and 80 others in the neighboring commune of Pessac, and a nursing home with 80 patients, supported in a gym for some Pessac, Bordeaux University Hospital for others .
“It is at this stage evacuations as a precaution, no houses were reached by fire” , he stressed.
Waiting for the return of planes
After 2:00 Saturday fire was still not circumscribed, although freshness and moisture – he briefly enjoyed in the evening Friday – as well as weakening winds played somewhat in favor of firefighters.
“Firefighters remain very vigilant. The fire continues to develop, it is not limited. It was not until the new Intervention Saturday aerial means to eradicate it. Firefighters worked through the night to slow its progression, enjoying perhaps a little more freshness and moisture in the undergrowth “, said the prefect, who should make a point location Saturday morning.
Some help other regions
In the air, and four Canadair water bomber Dash came Friday from Marignane (Bouches-du-Rhône) had witnessed the soldiers fire since 6:00 p.m. ET until nightfall.
As a precaution, an area of traveling people had been evacuated in the afternoon, their 63 families supported by Gendarmerie and the municipality of Saint-Jean d’Illac. Other evacuations were decided after visiting the prefect there.
The gendarmerie was responsible for the investigation on the origin of the fire, the speed with which it has grown intrigued with early relief.
The efforts of the firefighters were diverted several hours Saturday by another fire of pine forest, which broke out around 17 hours over 50 km southwest to La Teste-de-Buch and Gujan-Mestras, towns bordering the Bay of Arcachon. More than 75 firefighters, backed by Canadair fought against this fire will ultimately circumscribed shortly after 8:00 p.m., after destroying a dozen hectares of forest.
Other claims quickly mastered
Two other small fires Friday in the rooms sector avaiet was quickly controlled after destroying about one hectare of pine forest each. Occurred near the A63 linking Bordeaux to Spain, they have resulted in smoke and therefore delays on the road vacation, but not cut the axis.
multiple fire starts in a day are not uncommon in summer in the forest in the southwest, particularly in Gironde, covered in 45% forest. One of the largest fires in recent years had destroyed more than 650 hectares of pine forest in August 2012 near Lacanau, no casualties.