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Fires in Gironde: the calm is confirmed

More than 2,000 firefighters were mobilized. POOL / REUTERS

For the second consecutive day, the two fires in Gironde did not progress. In total, 20,800 hectares of forest have gone up in smoke since July 12.

Finally a little respite for the firefighters? “For the second day in a row, the two fires no longer show formed flame fronts and have not progressed“, announced the prefecture of Gironde on Wednesday evening. Since July 12, 20,800 hectares of forest have gone up in smoke: 7,000 hectares in Teste-de-Buch and 13,800 hectares in the Landiras sector, alone representing a perimeter of 66 km.

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«There is no longer a wall of flame that progresses under the effect of the wind and creates fire swings“, explained to the press one of the spokespersons for the firefighters, Lieutenant-Colonel Arnaud Mendousse. However, there are still “hot spotswhich can cause flare-ups. Despite a slight rise in temperatures,today should look like yesterday“said Arnaud Mendousse. The lights are still not fixed, and will not be “probably not today“, he said, referring to “contained fires».

Nearly 2,000 firefighters from all over France are mobilized, with six Canadair (capable of carrying approximately 6,000 liters of water) and two Dash (with a carrying capacity of 10,000 liters). Air resources, however, deemed insufficient by the unions. Based in Nîmes, the Civil Security air fleet has 12 Canadair, 6 Dash – a 7th will be operational in August, an 8th in 2023 – and 3 Beechcraft, according to Alexandre Jouassard, spokesman for Civil Security who underlines “increasing our air fleet resources».

A Dash battling the flames in Britain on July 20. LOIC VENANCE / AFP

Visiting La Teste-de-Buch with the firefighters, Emmanuel Macron announced on Wednesday that he wanted to “buy moreof firefighting aircraft. The 22 planes with which civil protection is equipped were “sufficient in recent years. (…) Do we need more? The answer is yes“, he judged, stressing that this increased fleet would be European and calling for “redeploy an industrial strategyto build these devices.

Emmanuel Macron with the firefighters. POOL / REUTERS

Regarding the situation of the 36,750 people evacuated since July 12, “all the security conditions for considering (their) return have not yet been met. The system will be reassessed on a daily basis, and the reintegration of populations will be carried out sector by sector depending on the situation.“, added the prefecture.

At the same time, two associations of elected officials, the National Federation of Forest Municipalities (FNCOFOR) and the Association of Rural Mayors of France (AMRF), demanded on Wednesday “strong public forest services“. They ask “the State to assume its responsibilities and assume its role of guarantor of the preservation of our forests with a long-term investment and to grant the necessary human resources to elected officials to face all these challenges“, while 500 posts of the National Office of Forests must be eliminated.


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