Thousands of residents in southwestern France were evacuated on Sunday as the country’s fire departments have been grappling with wildfires of disastrous scale.
A staggering surface of 10,500 hectares was on fire in the Gironde region on Sunday, up from 7,300 hectares on Friday.
The sprawl of the fire took place as at least 4,100 people were evacuated on Sunday from the town of Landiras. More than 12,200 from the surrounding Gironde region since last week.
Top story: @amassenet: 'Le feu reprend.#dunedupilat #gironde #incendie ' pic.twitter.com/wmYjklbJWy, see more https://t.co/nPNQkG368d
— master yaoi (@masteryaoi) July 18, 2022
As many as 38 fire departments have been placed on orange alert, mostly on France’s Atlantic coast.
Cette nuit, les renforts nationaux de la @ProtecCivilefr sont arrivés en Gironde.
Cette réponse opérationnelle permet d’augmenter grandement la capacité d’accueil des impliqués. #Solidarité @RICHEZfrancois1 pic.twitter.com/BskhtPFvXW
— Protection Civile de Gironde (@Protec33) July 17, 2022
International French Radio (RFI) reported that firefighters were fighting the fire in the dark of the night and thick smoke struggling to stymie the relentless expansion of the blaze. “The situation changes by the hour, or even less so, as put by a firefighter. The fatigue of firefighters, some of whom have been in action since Wednesday, needs to be taken into consideration,” an RFI correspondent said.
Force à tous les pompiers sur le feu de Gironde.
J’aurais aimer être de la partie mais bon c’est comme ça 💪🏻🔥🚒 pic.twitter.com/B3k38RldCj
— SK Riskkania (@SKriskkania) July 17, 2022
Wildfires have raged through France over the last few weeks as a result of a heatwave that hit Western Europe, as well as the prolonged drought that kept soil dry and highly combustible. “The vegetation is in the state of dryness that one can observe at the end of summer,” RFI wrote, adding that frequent afternoon winds that continued throughout the night fed the spread of the wildfires.
Other European countries like Portugal and Spain, where temperatures have soared, also struggle with their own wildfires.
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