On Wednesday, over 600 firemen, aided by six water-bomber planes, were struggling to put out two wildfires in southern France that had already burned over 1,700 hectares and forced the evacuation of thousands of visitors.
“Important human and material resources are being deployed to master the fires (…) local and national reinforcements are expected,” stated the Gironde department’s local authority.
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.
On Tuesday, several wildfires raged over Portugal’s central area and western Spain, prompting the evacuation of hundreds of people.
The larger of the two Gironde fires is in the town of Landiras, south of Bordeaux, where roads have been stopped and 500 people have been evacuated, despite the fact that the wildfire has already burned almost 1,000 hectares.
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 700 hectares and forced the evacuation of 6,000 people from five nearby campgrounds. They were sent to a nearby exhibition center for refuge.
On the night of Bastille Day, the Gironde prefecture has banned all fireworks in cities and villages near woods until Monday, July 18.