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Damage at "Les Flots Bleus" camp on Tuesday, July 19, which has been ravaged by a wildfire in Pyla sur Mer in Gironde, located in the southwest of France.
Damage at the campsite “Les Flots Bleus” on Tuesday, July 19, which was ravaged by a wildfire in Pyla sur Mer in Gironde, located in the southwest of France. (Photo Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty)

Local officials are putting pressure on French President Emmanuel Macron over his handling of the wildfires as they continue to spread across the country.

“France has only 12 Canadians” [firefighting planes] … We need a stronger fleet and better territorial allocation,” Jean-Luc Gleyze and Xavier Fortinos, presidents of the departments of neighboring Gironde and Landes, said in an open letter to Macron published in Le newspaper. Figaro of France on Tuesday.

Gironde is the epicenter of the current wave of wildfires in France.

According to the province of Gironde, at least 19,300 hectares (more than 47,000 acres) had been burned on Tuesday afternoon. According to the French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Research, this is almost twice the area of ​​Paris, at 10,540 hectares (more than 26,000 acres).

Meanwhile, wildfires continue to flare across the country as France sees 20 new fires a day, French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin told the French National Assembly on Tuesday.

“Many of them were exterminated before they reached 5 hectares (more than 12 acres), but some are huge and are killing biodiversity,” Darmanin said.

According to Mr. Darmanin, there are five major wildfires across France, three in the southwest, one in the west and one in the south.

About 45,000 people have been forced from their homes across France since the fires first broke out but so far no deaths have been reported. According to Darmanin, one person has been arrested for being able to ignite the main fire raging in the southwestern Gironde region.

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