The strong winds and dry weather are frustrating the efforts of the french firefighters to contain a huge forest fire that hit in the Bordeaux region on Saturday for the fifth day in a row, one of several sweeping Europe this week.
Between the worst fires are in Portugalwhere he pilot of a firefighting plane he died on Friday when his plane crashed while on an operation in the Northeast. She has been the first fatality in the fires in Portugal so far this year, which have left more than 160 injured this week.
Fire season has hit parts of Europe earlier than usual this year after an unusually dry hot spring left the ground parched and which authorities blame on climate change.
Thousands of inhabitants evacuated due to forest fires
As the worst French fire approached inhabited cities, some of the 11,000 people evacuated in the region described fear and uncertainty about what they would find when they returned home. Images shared by firefighters showed flames going through a mass of pine trees and black smoke stretching across the horizon.
The firefighters focused their efforts Saturday to use fire engines to surround at-risk villages and save as many homes as possible, said Charles Lafourcade, who oversees the firefighting operation. fires in Franceto journalists on the spot.
Some 3,000 firefighters backed by water-dropping planes are battling the flames in southern France, the president said, and Greece sent teams firefighting to help.
French firefighters managed to contain one of the worst fires overnight near the Atlantic coast resort of Arcachon, popular with tourists from across Europe, the regional emergency service said on Saturday.
But he said that the “harsh weather conditions” frustrated efforts to contain the largest fire in the region, which started in the town of Landiras, south of a valley of Bordeaux vineyards. Regional prosecutors suspect arson.
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Forest fires in Europe have devastated thousands of hectares
The two fires have burned at least 9,650 hectares (23,800 acres) of land in recent days. The fires have been fueled by earlier-than-usual extreme temperatures and drought conditions.
A similar scene unfolds in Portugal, where more than 1,000 firefighters worked Saturday alongside ordinary citizens desperate to save their homes after a long week of fighting multiple fires that continued to break out across the country.
Portuguese state television RTP reported on Friday that the area burned this year has already exceeded the total for 2021. More than 30,000 hectares (74,000 acres) of land, he said, most of it in the last week.
Across the border, Spain was struggling to contain several fires, including two that burned some 7,400 hectares (18,200 acres) of land.
In southern Andalusia, some 3,000 people were evacuated from villages in danger from a fire that started near the town of Mijas in Malaga province. About 200 firefighters supported by 18 planes They tried to contain the fire. Authorities were investigating his cause.
For the sixth day, firefighters were also trying to control a fire caused by a lightning strike in the center-west area of Las Hurdes. Some 400 people from eight villages were evacuated on Friday as the flames approached their homes and threatened to spread to nearby Monfragüe National Park.