Wildfires spread further in southwest France, with 10,000 hectares ablaze

PARIS – Wildfires spread further in southwestern France on Saturday, with nearly 10,000 hectares burning in the Gironde region, up from 7,300 hectares on Friday.

By Saturday morning, more than 12,200 people had been evacuated and more than 1,000 firefighters were trying to control the blaze, regional authorities in Nouvelle-Aquitaine and Gironde said in a statement.

“Given the weather conditions and the significant risk of fire, the authorities have temporarily closed the forest for professional and recreational use,” the statement said.

Wildfires have been raging in France for the past few weeks, as well as temperatures in European countries such as Portugal and Spain. The fire around the town of Teste-de-Buch in the Gironde has burned more than 3,000 hectares after it began to calm down.

The blaze continued to spread overnight in the nearby town of Landiras, which has burned 6,500 hectares and displaced 2,200 people, pushed by strong southwesterly winds.

“We have a fire that will continue until it is calm,” Vincent Ferrier, the deputy governor of Langone in the Gironde, told a news conference on Saturday.

(Reporting by Lily Forudi. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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