Thousands more people were being evacuated from their homes in southwestern France on Monday as a wildfire continued to rage in the region, local officials said.
Firefighters have been unable to control the blaze near the Dune de Pilat, Europe’s highest sand dune and a summer tourism hotspot, where rapidly changing winds have increased the risk of it spreading to residential areas which found themselves under clouds of poisonous smoke, they said.
“The smoke is toxic,” firefighter spokesman Arnaud Mendousse told AFP. “Protecting the population is a matter of public health.”
Some 5,000 people were evacuated from Les Miquelots, a southern neighbourhood of the town of Teste-de-Buch, with another 3,000 told to leave Pyla-sur-mer, to the east.
The blaze is one of two huge wildfires raging since early last week in the Girdonde region south of Bordeaux as parts of France are sweltering under record temperatures.