'Apocalyptic' Wildfire Destroys Forest and Homes in Southwest France

A fire destroyed at least 17 homes in Belin-Béliet, southwest France, as well as 7,400 hectares of forest throughout the Gironde and Landes regions on August 9, before officials declared that the fire had been “fixed.”

In the video, recorded by photographer Loic Le Bras, firefighters can be seen pouring water over the fire, as flames reach the top of a pine tree forest.

Le Bras told Storyful that he witnessed an “apocalyptic atmosphere” when he arrived on site. The hamlet of Ambeliet, near Belin-Beliet, where the footage was captured, was destroyed in the fire, reports said.

Le Bras described: “The strength of the blaze was impressive. All the fire trucks were positioned to protect the nearby houses against it, but the firemen themselves were not sure whether they could contain it.”

A post on the Gironde Department website stated that 7,400 hectares of forest had been destroyed, with firefighters joining in from Germany, Romania, Greece, Italy, Austria and Poland to help contain the blaze.

Gironde’s prefect, Fabienne Buccio, said on August 12 that the blaze had been contained, but firefighters urged vigilance. Credit: Loic Le Bras via Storyful

Video transcript