Disasters & Accidents

Tens of thousands evacuated amid raging wildfires in southwest France

Paris, Jul 19 (EFE).- Wildfires that have been raging south of Bordeaux for the past week, which have led to the evacuation of more than 37,000 people, were still spreading on Tuesday.

The blazes have already burned over 19,000 hectares (46,950 acres) in the popular tourist destination, while several fires were also spreading in other parts of the country.

The regional Gironde government said on its Twitter account that Monday night was “very difficult” after fires that were close to being controlled were rekindled amid the intense, prolonged heat and regular changes of wind.

More than 2,000 firefighters have been deployed to tackle two of the largest fires, which have caused the evacuation of a care home in Pilat.

A man has been in custody since Monday afternoon for allegedly starting a fire in Landiras.

A third fire has been reported in Gironde, in Vensac, north of Bordeaux, which has led to the evacuation of more than 500 people on Tuesday.

The Gironde government warned that changing winds were pushing smoke from the fires towards the Bordeaux metropolitan area, urging people, particularly those with underlying health conditions, to stay indoors.

The heat wave was moving from western France to the east and north of the country, where highs of up to 41C (about 106F) in Paris, 39C in Lille and Metz and 38C in Strasbourg and Lyon were expected Tuesday.

Météo France has lifted the red heatwave alert from 15 departments on the Atlantic coast, but three quarters of the country remain on orange alert. EFE


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