Wildfires in SW France force 6,000 campers to evacuate

PARIS, July 13– An estimated 6,000 campers had to be evacuated in southwestern France on Wednesday morning as firefighters were battling to bring under control wildfires that have already burnt more than 1,500 hectares, French news channel BFMTV reported. Tourists were evacuated from five campsites near the Dune du Pilat, the tallest sand dune in Europe…

PARIS, July 13 (Xinhua) — An estimated 6,000 campers had to be evacuated in southwestern France on Wednesday morning as firefighters were battling to bring under control wildfires that have already burnt more than 1,500 hectares, French news channel BFMTV reported.

Tourists were evacuated from five campsites near the Dune du Pilat, the tallest sand dune in Europe located in the Arcachon Bay area. Another 200 people were evacuated to the nearby city of Biscarrosse from motorhomes parked near the fires, BFMTV said.

“The wind shifted overnight,” Lieutenant Colonel David Annotel of the National Federation of Firefighters of France (FNSPF) told BFMTV. “And even if the flames front is very far from the campsites, the decision was taken to evacuate them during the night and this evacuation was completed shortly before 5 a.m. this morning. So, all campers concerned were sheltered in two or three places.”

In the city of Landiras, 40 kilometers to the south of Bordeaux, 525 people were evacuated as wildfires burnt 800 hectares in the area. According to firefighters, the blaze burned through 100 hectares of pine trees per hour.

Near the city of La Teste-de-Buch, 70 kilometers from Landiras, the wildfire scorched through 700 hectares of pine trees.

At least 450 firefighters were mobilized in Landiras and La Teste-de-Buch, and on Wednesday morning 350 of them were still on the scene. The fire brigade also planned to deploy aerial units.

According to BFMTV, two firefighters were reported injured. A wildfire alert has been issued for the department of Gironde, BFMTV added. Enditem

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