“Our holidays are summed up in an anxiety attack”

Five burnt campsites including the famous Camping des Flots Bleus, 36,750 inhabitants and holidaymakers evacuated, the fires in La Teste-de-Buch and Landiras upset local and tourist life in Gironde. Since July 12, more than 20,000 hectares of forests have burned under the eyes of French men and women and in particular those who were to leave for the department for the summer holidays. Among them, some readers of 20 minutesconsulted, have made the choice or not to go to their Gironde summer destination.

For a large part of those who responded to our call for contributions, they do not wish to change their vacation plans and have maintained their reservations. There are altruists who want to help local residents and tourism professionals to recover. Thus Julie does not give up on her trip to Biscarrosse: “We intend to go there anyway, we want to give work to the shopkeepers there who will have already spent a lot. “Same destination and story with Delphine who will come” if the situation has improved and it is secure […] at least to support local tourism which is being hurt at the moment”. Sophie is also arriving with her family in Biscarrosse this weekend “for 15 days, and we are still happy to go there”. Carole is also a room “despite the fires” because “we go every summer either to La Teste-de-Buch or to Arcachon”. The fire had no impact on his booking, “just windblown ash”.

Louise canceled her stay for the health of her 10-month-old baby

Other vacationers had no choice but to cancel their place in Gironde. Johan was supposed to go to the La Forêt du Pilat Tohapi campsite in La Teste for 15 days but he was “warned by message that the campsite had been destroyed”. He chose to be reimbursed and fell back on a campsite in Vendée at Saint-Jean-de-Monts. No “plan B” for Sabine who was to “go with a friend to La Teste-de-Buch to show her the region” but the rented apartment was in an evacuated area. Without a response solution, “we didn’t like anything else”, Sabine stayed in Strasbourg.

Among those who had opted for Biscarrosse, preserved from the flames, Louise preferred to cancel for the health of her 10-month-old baby. “The smell is still likely to be marked by the fires, and potential debris from the fire carried by the wind can end up on the beaches or by the lake, where our son is in his period all in the mouth” . But the young woman promises to come back next year. Cécile will also return quickly, there, she gave up “hosting in Gujan-Mestras from July 30 to August 6” to go “to Pau” because of “the impossibility of visiting and a little apprehension with the fires”.

“Raise public awareness of the risk of fires”

For Elodie, “holidays have a taste of desolation, worry and sadness”. This Girondine left with the family on Saturday July 12 in the direction of Vendée. “A short week’s vacation is all our finances have allowed us. Or their house is “two short kilometers” from the blaze. She who had “organized tours with our neighbors and our close friends to feed our cats” follows the evolution of the fire “we scan, read, listen… not an hour without being on the lookout for the slightest information, not a morning without the first reflex being to read the progress of the firefighters and the fire, not an evening when the last press briefing from the Prefect is only an additional concern to those we are already accusing”. For this mother, “our holidays can be summed up as follows: an anxiety attack”.

All our contributors highlight the courage, bravery and dedication of firefighters. Some hope for awareness after these fires. Morgan “hopes that these tragic events will raise awareness of the risk of fires”. Jul is “stunned by our behavior, we are not changing our habits at all, despite the undeniable tangibility of global warming, we continue to consume as if nothing had happened, […] the human seems doomed to achieve its self-destructive design”.

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