Thousands of tourists evacuated as wildfires scorch France after record-breaking heatwave


Hundreds of firefighters and emergency crews battled the blazes which have already burnt around 1,500 hectares. France, like the rest of Europe, is suffering from a second heatwave in two months.

The local authority for the Gironde department, which has been affected by the fires, said that four aircraft had also been mobilised.

It said: “Four aircraft and a lot of firefighters are mobilized with help coming from neighbouring departments.”

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 have been evacuated.

The other is along the Atlantic Coast, close to Dune du Pilat, the largest sand dune in Europe and popular tourist attraction. 6000 people have been evacuated from campsites in the area.

The news comes as earlier this week, the World Meteorological Organisation warned that Europe was at a greater risk of wildfires due to the heatwave.

It said in a tweet: “Another heatwave is building in Western Europe, spreading from Spain and Portugal to France and other countries, exacerbating drought and risk of wildfires.

“Follow advice from meteorological services and WMO community to stay cool and safe.”

There have been unconfirmed reports that the fires were at risk of affecting residential areas.

On Tuesday, wildfires were also sweeping through Portugal and Spain, prompting the evacuation of hundreds of locals.

Locals in Portugal complained about the lack of firefighters and resources to tackle the blaze.

Around 1,700 firefighters were tackling 14 active blazes across the country, according to the Civil Protection. More than half of the country is on “red alert”, the highest level.

In Spain, at least 1500 hectares have been destroyed prompting the evacuation of about 400 residents.


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