Wildfires rage in south-western France amid new heatwave

By Reuters
Published : 11 Aug 2022 12:11 AM

Wildfires raged in south-western France on Tuesday (Aug 9), destroying 16 houses, burning 6,000ha and forcing the evacuation of almost 6,000 people in an area already hit last month by huge blazes.

France, like the rest of Europe, is coping with heatwaves and drought that have triggered multiple wildfires across the continent over the past two months.

"The fire is rampant and has now spread to the Landes department," local authorities of the wine-growing Gironde department said in a statement. It added that 500 firefighters were mobilised.

The Gironde department in south-western France was hit in July by two wildfires. They destroyed more than 20,000ha of forest and led to the evacuation of almost 40,000 people.

Fires were also raging on Tuesday in other parts of the country, one in the southern departments of Lozere and Aveyron, where close to 600ha have already burned and where Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin is due to go later in the day. Another fire is in the Maine et Loire department in western France, where 650ha have been scorched and 500 are threatened, according to local authorities.