Forest fires in France: 8,000 people and 1,000 animals evacuated from zoos, five camp sites burned | Abroad

ModernizationAn additional 8,000 people are being evacuated today as a precaution due to the wildfires under Bordeaux. It concerns a living population of La Teste-de-Buch near Arcachon.

About 5,000 people have been evacuated from the Miquelots district in the south of the city, and about 3,000 people from the western Bela-sur-Mer district, according to the Gironde county administration. The city of about 26,000 people is located about 60 kilometers southwest of Bordeaux, the provincial capital.

“La Testi is not threatened by fire, but it is covered in smoke due to changing winds,” firefighting spokesman and Lieutenant-Colonel Arnaud Mendos told AFP. “Smoke is toxic and it is a public health issue,” the spokesman said. In the second forest fire burner, to the east, about 8,000 residents of the municipalities of Landeras, Podos and Palaisac were forced to leave their homes.

The three municipalities are located east of the forest fires. “Evacuations have to adapt to the wind,” said one of the firefighters. The fires have already reduced 100 square kilometers to ash. Due to winds and high temperatures of 40-45 degrees, firefighters do not yet have a chance to control the fire.

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Zoo residents are evacuated

The French Association of Zoos (AFdPZ) told the news agency that more than 1,000 residents of the Teste de Boch Zoo would also be evacuated in the coming hours. “In accordance with the recommendations of the authorities, we will do everything in our power to evacuate all the animals from the Zoo du Bassin d’Arcachon. The process of transporting the animals to move the boxes has begun,” said Director Cecile Ernie. “Veterinarians and trainers from many zoos in the area are arriving with vehicles, transport boxes, and veterinary equipment to help evacuate the animals and ensure their safety and security.”

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The animals – some sensitive to smoke, such as monkeys and half-monkeys – are taken to the car park at Pessac Zoo, on the outskirts of Bordeaux. “It’s a unique process. There is strong professional mobilization,” said the Tanzania Defense Forces spokeswoman.

The zoo closed its doors on Friday because forest fires closed all access roads. The closure will be until today, but developments call for evacuation. The zoo is home to lions, tigers, elephants, giraffes, and rhinos, as well as large and small monkey species such as chimpanzees and orangutans.

Camps burned near the Atlantic coast

There are several campsites near La-Teste-de-Buch. Especially in the Dune du Pilat, where it is 103 meters tall the highest sand dunes in Europe. Gironde County Administrator Fabian Buccio said the five camps below had “burned 90 per cent”. Several explosions on Monday were caused by abandoned gas cylinders at camp sites and restaurants.

About 6000 were evacuated from the camp last week On Saturday, two villages to the west were already evacuated from the fire. But the direction of the wind changes often, and since last night the wind has been blowing from the west, driving the fire to the east.

Forest fires in the Gironde Province have already burned more than 15,000 hectares of forest. This is one and a half times the size of Paris. 16,000 people have already been evacuated. About 1,700 firefighters, supported by nine firefighting aircraft, are trying to control the flames.

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Code red has been in effect in Gironde and fourteen other provinces on the western side of France since Monday. The French meteorological service, Météo France, decided to do so due to a heat wave that could lead to new temperature records in certain regions. The increase in extreme weather events, according to scientists, is a direct result of global warming, with greenhouse gas emissions increasing in intensity, duration and frequency.

Traffic on the A63 border motorway between Bordeaux and Spain was also affected by smoke.

Traffic on the A63 border motorway between Bordeaux and Spain was also affected by smoke. © AP

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