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Gironde fire official on Day 4 of forest blaze: 'It's a long battle'

davric/CC/Wikimedia Commons

The southwestern Gironde region of France is in its fourth day of efforts to quell flames that have ravaged more than 570 hectares of land. About 500 firefighters are on the ground each day to fight what is one of the biggest fires France has seen in the last five years. RFI spoke to Commander Eric Roy, chief coordinator of operations for the region's fire department, who explained their strategy.

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"Obviously this is a strategy that demands a lot of men and a lot of resources on the ground, and like all fights, it's a long battle," Roy told RFI.

By surveying forecasts, using digital tools to detect risk levels and allocating resources depending on the size of the flames, Commander Roy has expressed his overall satisfaction with the tactic's efficiency.

French television station iTele tweeted Monday about an impeccable organisation of logistics to fight the fires efficiently.

About 150 residents of Toctoucau, located 20km from Bordeaux, were evacuated from their homes on Saturday.

The prefecture of Gironde has announced a "gradual" return of residents from Pessac to their homes.

The unpredictability of wind remains a factor over the next few days.

"It's impossible to know if a fire could reignite by catching again somewhere else," Roy said.

The cause of the fire is still unknown, as investigators determine whether the origin was accidental or criminal.

 

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