France forest fires continue to devastate natural region near Bordeaux

France forest fires continue to devastate natural region near Bordeaux
Credit: Préfète de Nouvelle-Aquitaine et Gironde / Twitter

The two fires which started on Tuesday afternoon in Gironde, southwest France, have ravaged nearly 1,000 hectares of pine forest and have also led to thousands of evacuations, according to the fire brigade.

The fire started at around 16:00 in "complicated terrain" and a "swirling pool", which made any intervention difficult.

6,000 people were evacuated from the tourist area Pilat, near Bordeaux, Wednesday morning as a precaution. In addition, 150 people were evacuated from Landiras due to a fire, which covered 800 hectares.

Four water bomber plans carried out fifty drops before nightfall and have resumed operations Wednesday morning, with 50 vehicles and 320 mobilised firefighters. Air reinforcements are also expected to arrive on Wednesday.

Orange heat alert

Southwestern France is going through an intense heatwave, which is raging for the second time in a month. In Bordeaux, temperatures are hovering near 40°C. France braces for the impact of the heatwave sweeping through Portugal and Spain, which will see temperatures rise above forty degrees in some areas next week.

Authorities in France have issues a heatwave orange alert to mobilise emergency services. An orange alert is issued in cases of severe heat waves that last for at least two days.

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