Forest fire in progress in Anglet, residents evacuated

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Firefighters at work in the Chiberta forest, in Anglet, July 30, 2020. – GAIZKA IROZ / AFP

A fire broke out this Thursday evening in the Chiberta forest, in the center of Anglet, in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, forcing the evacuation of dozens of homes. 40 hectares of pine forest have already burned down, and 100 others are threatened, according to the prefecture, which added that a house had burned down.

A hundred firefighters are on site to fight the fire, which has forced the evacuation of dozens of homes. “Reinforcements of firefighters have arrived from the neighboring department of Landes and others are on their way from the Gironde”, explained a spokesperson for the prefecture of Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Vincent Nicolas. “Firefighters from Lot-et-Garonne and Dordogne have been placed on pre-alert,” he added.

“We evacuated all the residences on either side of the fire,” said the mayor, Claude Olive. “The Canadair have just made their last rotation. They helped us a lot and now the firefighters will intervene on foot, ”he continued, as night fell. In addition to these two water bombers, at least 65 firefighters intervened in this urban area, according to the firefighters of the department. “The fire is in progress, drops are in progress”.

Suitcases hurriedly thrown into vehicles

Dozens of people have been forced to evacuate their homes, noted an AFP correspondent who saw people driving away with suitcases hurriedly thrown into their vehicles. “At the bottom of my street, the flames were approaching the houses and they were very strong, we all got into our cars,” said a resident.

“At 8pm, everything was fine, then at 8:30 pm, we were told ‘Everyone come out! The tide has turned, “” recounts in tears a young girl evacuated from her boyfriend’s apartment. “I had the flames ten meters away! Usually, there is never a wind here, ”exclaimed the resident of a house at the end of the street, on the edge of the forest.

The forest of Chiberta, made up of pines, is an island of greenery within the densely populated Bayonne-Biarritz-Anglet agglomeration. Between the Adour river and the Atlantic, this forest is bordered to the west by a golf course, and luxurious villas.



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