Wildfires rage across France, Spain and Portugal amid intense heatwave – Global News Network

Firefighters are struggling to contain the blaze, which has burned tens of thousands of acres.

Associated Press

Trees are covered in a wall of flames near Landras in the Gironde region of south-west France. Reuters

Strong winds and hot, dry weather frustrated French firefighters’ efforts to contain a massive wildfire burning through pine forests in the Bordeaux region for a fifth day on Saturday.

This is one of several wildfires wreaking havoc in parts of Europe this week.

The worst fire was in Portugal, where the pilot of a firefighting plane died on Friday when his plane crashed on a north-east operation. This is the first fire death in Portugal this year, but the fire this week has injured more than 160 people and forced hundreds of people to evacuate.

Hot spring fires have reached earlier than usual this year in some parts of Europe, which authorities have blamed on climate change, which has caused the hot springs to dry up and the soil to dry out.

As France’s worst fires approach cities, the region’s 11,000 evacuees fear for their homes.

“Firefighters had villages at risk and would save as many houses as possible,” said Charles Lafourcade, who oversees the French firefighting operation.

Around 3,000 firefighters supported by water jets are battling the blaze in southern France, while Greece has sent firefighting equipment to help.

French firefighters managed to contain one of the fires that broke out overnight near the Atlantic beach resort of Arcachon, the region’s emergency services announced Saturday.

But he said “strong meteorological conditions” had hampered efforts to contain the biggest fire in the region’s Landras town, south of the Bordeaux vineyard valley. The district attorney is suspected of arson.

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