Airborne firefighters and hundreds of emergency crew battled on Wednesday to bring under control wildfires in southwestern France, which have already burnt around 1 500 hectares and prompted the evacuation of thousands of tourists.
“Four aircraft and a lot of firefighters are mobilized with help coming from neighbouring departments,” said the local authority for the Gironde department, which has been affected by the fires.
France, already hit by several wildfires over the last few weeks, is suffering – like the rest of Europe – from a second heatwave in as many months.
The biggest of the two Gironde fires is located around the town of Landiras, south of Bordeaux, where roads have been closed and hundreds of people evacuated, with the blaze having already burnt more than 1 000 hectares.
The other one is along the Atlantic Coast, close to the iconic “Dune du Pilat” – the tallest sand dune in Europe – located in the Arcachon Bay area, where 6 000 people from surrounding campsites have been evacuated.