On Thursday, over 1,000 firemen were fighting two wildfires in southern France that had already burned about 4,000 hectares, aided by six water-bomber aircraft.
“The fires are still not under control, no casualties were reported” claimed the Gironde department’s local authority, where the blazes, which began on Tuesday, were blazing.
France, which has already been ravaged by a number of wildfires in recent weeks, is now experiencing a second heatwave in as many months, along with the rest of Europe.
“Since the start of the year, 15,000 hectares have been burnt in the country, versus a little less than 1,000 hectares at the same date last year … nine fires out of 10 have a human cause,” Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin told reporters on Wednesday night.
In Europe, hundreds of firemen fought more than 20 fires that flared on Wednesday across Portugal and western Spain, threatening communities and disrupting tourists’ vacations amid a heatwave that drove temperatures beyond 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit) in some areas.
The larger of the two Gironde fires is at Landiras, south of Bordeaux, where roads have been stopped and 500 people have been evacuated, and the flames has already burned 2,100 hectares (5,190 acres).
The other is along the Atlantic Coast, near the famed “Dune du Pilat” – Europe’s highest sand dune – in the Arcachon Bay region, where large clouds of black smoke were visible rising in the sky.
This fire has already burned 1,750 hectares and forced the evacuation of 6,000 people from five nearby campgrounds on Wednesday. Another 60 individuals were evacuated on Thursday morning.