‘Extreme vigilance’ as vast fire in south-west France slows


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A massive blaze that has devastated swaths of southwestern France has been largely brought under control, but firefighters are facing another “complicated” day, local authorities said on Friday.

The 40-kilometre (25-mile) active fire front in the Gironde and Landes departments around Bordeaux “has not developed, but the weather conditions are pushing us to be extremely vigilant”, the deputy told reporters. -Prefect Ronan Leaustic.

No new evacuations have been ordered in addition to the 10,000 people already told to leave, he added.

But “today is likely to be complicated as temperatures continue to rise and the water table continues to drop,” Leaustic said.

The approximately 1,100 French firefighters on the ground were reinforced on Thursday by 361 comrades from European neighbors including Germany, Poland, Austria and Romania, as well as several water bomber planes from the French fleet. ‘European Union.


In the hard-hit area around the village of Hostens, the thick smoke seen on Thursday had given way to blue skies and a few clouds on Friday morning, an AFP journalist noted.

France has been rocked this summer by a historic drought that has imposed nationwide restrictions on water use, as well as a series of heat waves that experts say are caused by climate change .

The fire near Bordeaux broke out in July – the driest month observed in France since 1961 – destroying 14,000 hectares and forcing thousands of people to evacuate before it was brought under control.

But he continued to smolder in the dry pine forests and peat-rich soils.

Authorities suspect arson played a role in the latest outbreak, which has burned 7,400 hectares (18,000 acres) since Tuesday.

(AFP)


Fr

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