Huge forest fires destroy 165 hectares in southwestern France

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No casualties were reported, but around 100 people were evacuated from the area and 16 were taken to hospital for smoke inhalation.About 165 hectares of Chiberta forest burned in the blaze which lasted around eight hours, before finally being brought under control on Friday morning (July 31).

The Chiberta Forest is located in the city center of Anglet, a municipality of about 40,000 inhabitants in the Basque Country near the Spanish border.

The mayor of Anglet called the devastation “grim”, saying there was nothing left.

“What I’m looking at right now might make me cry. The forest, rich in environment and possessing an inestimable heritage, has gone up in smoke, ”Claud Olive told France Info.

Izadia Ecological Park, a natural park popular with tourists located inside the forest, was completely destroyed in the fire.

The origin of the fire is still unknown. An investigation was opened by the public prosecutor’s office in Bayonne, nearby, for “destruction by fire”, France Info reported.

On Friday, the new Minister of Biodiversity Bérangère Abba went to the scene of the fire. There, she pledged that the government would provide financial support for the reconstruction, but did not specify how much it would be, according to France Bleu radio.

In the south of France, small forest fires are quite common, with around 2,500 reported each year between 1994 and 2016. In total, they burned around 12,000 hectares, according to Climate Change Post, a climate change publication. and adaptation.

However, large fires where more than 100 hectares are burned, such as the one in Anglet, are extremely rare, accounting for only 1% of the total number of fires in France.

Find out more about the fires in France:

Heat wave, storm and forest fire alert as France reaches 41 ° C

Forest fire warning for the Dordogne

Notre Dame one year after the great fire



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