Blaze rages in Europe’s biggest maritime pine forest

Blaze rages in Europe's biggest maritime pine forest
This file image shows a Canadair aircraft extinguishing a forest fire. Photo: Valery Hache/AFP
A forested area in the Landes department was put on red alert on Wednesday as the worst wildfire of the summer in the South-West raged by a roadside 80 kilometres south of Bordeaux.

Some 150 firefighters, assisted by four water-bombing aircraft, battled a blaze engulfing 70 hectares of pine forest near the village of Trensacq, local media reported. 

The fire started by the side of the municipal route 1, three kilometres from Trensacq (see map below). Initially restricted to a three-hectare area, it quickly spread as winds picked up, Sud Ouest reports.

By 7pm fire fighters said they had brought the fire under control, though it had not yet been fully put out by Thursday morning. 

Trensacq. Photo: GoogleMaps

“We do not anticipate the need for any evacuation resulting from the fire,” the fire service said in a statement on Wednesday evening. 

Traffic returned to normal during the evening but rescue workers asked locals to limit their movements to avoid hampering the security measures in place. 

An investigation is underway into the cause of the fire, the most extensive of the season in a region that is home to the biggest maritime pine forest in Europe. 

A long period of hot weather has left the ground extremely dry in the area, and with no rain forecast until the middle of next week at the earliest, fire-fighters might not yet have seen their last forest blaze of the season. 

Wednesday’s conflagration follows a massive wildfire earlier this week that raged across 1,200 hectares in the Calanques national park.

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