Wildfires leave scorched forests in southwestern France

STORY: A drive through the forests, a stone's throw from the Dune du Pilat, Europe's tallest sand dune, also showed damaged properties and campsites, and firefighters deploying to limit the destruction.

Firefighters in the southwest Gironde department have been battling since July 12 to tame the flames, which have so far ravaged nearly 50,904 acres of land, the local prefecture said on Wednesday (July 20). Nearly 37,000 people have been evacuated from their homes.

The blaze near the dune has already burnt 17,297 acres, raging along the Atlantic Coast in the Arcachon Bay area, and the figure is only expected to rise.

The Bordeaux Public Prosecutor said in a statement that a man was in police custody in connection with a probe into the bigger Landiras fire, where 33,606 acres have been scorched.

In La Teste-de-Buch, workers revved up their chainsaws to cut down trees from forest grounds as a preventive measure.