As flames in southwestern France raged out of control, authorities announced on Friday that hundreds more people had been forced from their homes.
Since Tuesday, nine water-bomber aircraft have been aiding more than 1,000 firefighters in their efforts to contain two fires that have been stoked by the intense heat, tinder-box conditions, and strong winds.
The departmental authority for Gironde, where the fires are raging, declared that “the situation is continuing unfavorable.”
Approximately 18,000 acres have already been destroyed by the fires, which have now consumed 7,300 hectares (hundreds of thousands of acres), according to officials.
A second wildfire that started on Thursday and consumed at least 1,000 hectares (almost 2,500 acres) has been put out, according to firefighters. It occurred close to the town of Tarascon in the southeast.
While much of Europe broiled in a heatwave that caused temperatures to soar as high as the mid-40 degrees Celsius in some areas, wildfires burned over Portugal, Spain, and Croatia as well, destroying houses and endangering livelihoods.
One of the two Gironde fires happened near the town of Landiras, south of Bordeaux, where 4,200 hectares (almost 10,400 acres) have burnt, highways have been closed, and 480 more people have evacuated, bringing the total number of people who have left there to almost 1,000.
The other fire, which has already consumed 3,100 hectares (nearly 7,700 acres), was located in the Arcachon bay area, close to the “Dune du Pilat,” which is the tallest sand dune in Europe. Above this fire, dense clouds of dark smoke could be seen rising into the sky.
On Wednesday, around 6,000 people were evicted from nearby campgrounds, and 4,000 more were removed on Thursday.
According to police, the neighborhood last night saw the devastation of three homes and two restaurants.
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