The forest fire in Gironde, against which some 380 firefighters are fighting Saturday, July 25 in the evening for the second consecutive night, “continues to progress” and destroyed some 600 hectares of pine, announced Prefecture shortly before midnight.
150 homes were evacuated in the evening in an outlying district of Pessac, Toctoucau, almost all of these people relocated with relatives or relatives. They are in addition to 120 households on Saint-Jean-d’Illac and Pessac, who were evacuated Friday night.
The fire had been “stabilized, almost mastered” at midday but there was renewed winds, “gusting to over 40 km / h and adverse developments on a fire sector” , said the operational PC Chief of Staff of the prefect of Gironde, Simon Bertoux.
The fire broke out around 14: 30 pm Friday at Saint-Jean d’Illac, about 20 kilometers south-west of Bordeaux. The police do not exclude any cause: cigarette butt jet recklessly accidental or arson. Firefighters were to receive in the night reinforcements from other regions: the Ministry of the Interior announced the arrival of four reinforcement columns formed by over 300 firefighters and a section of 25 soldiers from the Civil Security .
Four Canadair remained in action, two back of the base Marignane (Bouches-du-Rhône) they had regained Saturday, and a Dash water bomber, according to the prefecture. “There is no excitement, but there is a serious situation that is unfavorable again and deserves a strong commitment of means” , said the prefecture. “The fire advanced towards the south, towards a more wooded area, this is not the worst front, but it is a recovery” .
Firefighters assessed on a case by case basis the need for new housing evacuations in that direction. But two Canadair however had to be temporarily directed late afternoon to start a fire that destroyed a hectare of pine forest in the Medoc, near Naujac-sur-Mer, 65 kilometers of the fire of St. -Jean-d’Illac.
On the main fire, firefighters were betting on more favorable weather conditions in their battle late evening, “with a little more moisture and wind would drop “, according to the prefecture. Beyond the times of fire, the fire brigade will aim to address the hot points from 9 10 km from the edge of the fire, separate the burned areas of unaffected areas: work “methodical and constant” , a “project that will last several days” , according to Colonel Jean-Paul Decellières, director of the Departmental Service Fire and rescue (SDIS) of Gironde.
Two firefighters sustained minor injuries
The fire is “disparate, very diffuse over a fairly large area: there are places where Canadair work and where you work on will smoke …” , it is stated in the day with firefighters. Friday and into the night, two firefighters were slightly injured, one suffered smoke inhalation, the other a back injury, but none required evacuation.
“The extreme caution” recommended by the prefecture facing a fire always “concern” has led to delay the return home of some 120 homes evacuated Friday night 40 houses in Saint-Jean-d’Illac, 80 on the nearby town of Pessac. Although no housing has been reached by fire since Friday. Most of the evacuees were relocated with relatives, a few dozen at a gym in Pessac.
About 80 patients with mild psychiatric care center, also evacuated Friday were supported at the CHU Bordeaux, or in a military hospital Villenave Ornon in the Bordeaux suburbs. Cap de Bos at the gym in Pessac, many evacuated yet hoped would spend one night away from home.
The fire of Saint-Jean-d’Illac is one of the most important recent years in Gironde, department covered more than 45% of forest at the heart of the forest of Biscay (1 million hectares) and or multiple fire starts in the summer in a day are not uncommon. In August 2012, a fire destroyed more than 650 hectares of pine forest near Lacanau, no casualties.