France Battles ‘Monster’ Wildfire as Heatwaves Scorch Europe
- August, 12, 2022 - 13:06
- World news
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A “monster” wildfire raged for a third day in southwestern France on Thursday, ravaging forests and forcing 10,000 people to evacuate their homes.
With no let-up in scorching temperatures likely before the weekend, firefighters backed by water-bombing aircraft battled on many fronts, saying the massive fire could change direction at any moment.
“It’s an ogre, it’s a monster,” Gregory Allione from the French firefighters body FNSPF told RTL radio.
Wildfires have broken out across Europe this summer as successive heatwaves bake the continent and renew focus on climate change risks to industry and livelihoods, Reuters reported.
Support was on its way from across Europe, with 361 firefighters, as well as trucks and waterbombing aircrafts, expected to back up the 1,100 French firefighters already on the ground.
More than 60,000 hectares (230 square miles) have gone up in flames so far in France this year, six times the full-year average for 2006-2021, data from the European Forest Fire Information System shows.
French authorities said temperatures in the Gironde region would reach 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) on Thursday and stay high until Saturday.
Firefighters warned of an “explosive cocktail” of weather conditions, with wind and the tinder-box conditions helping fan the flames.