French firefighters survey damage amid wildfire battle

STORY: "The purpose is to secure them so that the companies that come for clean-up can do so safely," firefighter captain Gilles Elschger said of the containers at campsite La Foret du Pilat, a stone's throw away from the Dune du Pilat, Europe's tallest sand dune.

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 (20,600 hectares) of land, the local prefecture said on Wednesday (July 20).

Nearly 37,000 people have been evacuated from their homes.

Meanwhile, firefighting planes flew over wildfires in the town of Landiras, the site of the bigger of two main blazes in southwestern France, to halt the flames that have been ravaging the region since last week.

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