Raging fire destroys forests, displaces thousands in southwest France

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French President Emmanuel Macron has deployed fire brigades from several European countries to France to fight the fires in the southwestern part of the country. said Thursday.

Officials say the fire in the Gironde region is the most violent of the season. The fire, which reignited on Tuesday, has engulfed towns and villages and burned nearly 17,000 acres of forest, forcing more than 10,000 people to evacuate their homes.

“This is the first time we have seen a fire like this,” firefighter Jerome Jean told France’s BFM channel. Some residents were forced to flee onto their roofs, BBC Reported.

Wildfires have been raging in France and across Europe amid a particularly hot summer and record drought. In the past two months, temperatures have soared to 104 degrees Fahrenheit in the Southwest, in the Bordeaux wine region.

In recent days, thick clouds of smoke have drifted over the region’s beaches and highways, prompting local authorities to close the A63 motorway linking Bordeaux with northern Spain.

The fires initially started in July, the driest month in France since 1961, FRANCE24 Reported. It burned 34,000 acres and continues to smolder in the region’s dry pine forests, the network said, adding that officials suspect arson may have contributed to the most recent flare-up.

Scorching heat and strong winds have created a tinderbox effect, experts say, hampering efforts to contain the flames.

Severe droughts have also dried up the landscape in much of Europe, contributing to an estimated 264 fires in France alone this year. data Compiled by the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS).

Almost half of Europe It is now under “warning conditions”, indicating severe drought and a major shortage of soil moisture, according to the report European Drought Observatory.

“The area is completely disfigured. We are sad, we are tired,” Jean-Louis Dartiel, mayor of the French city of Hostens, told Radio Classic. Reuters reported.

“[This fire] is the final straw,” he said.



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