Forest fires erupt near the wine region of Bordeaux, France

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LE TILLAIN-MEDOC, France – Hot fog settled in the area around Bordeaux on Friday as hundreds of firefighters from across Europe joined their French counterparts in the face of a massive fire in the country’s southwest.

The blaze in the Gironde, which broke out on Tuesday after first igniting here in July, is one of the fiercest this season. It destroyed 19,000 acres of forest, displaced more than 10,000 people, and spread fear and uncertainty in the sleepy towns that dot the French countryside.

Local officials said firefighters were able to control the blaze overnight, but temperatures remained high and fresh winds could hamper efforts to put out the flames.

The fire comes amid a particularly hot summer in France and throughout Europe, with many countries experiencing historical droughts.

Over the past two months, temperatures have soared to 104 degrees Fahrenheit in southwestern France, which is home to the Bordeaux wine region. Extreme heat and scant rain have helped spark an estimated 264 fires across France this year alone, according to him. data Compiled by the European Forest Fire Information System.

Melanie Morales Toto, 39, an executive assistant from the town of San Magni, was on vacation with her family after several hours from home when she received news of an eviction order on Tuesday.

She raced home to take care of her pet cats and pigs, past rows of bare black husks where pine forests once stood. She said she got the basic documents, but the 130-pound pig refused to move. Toto left her with a generous amount of zucchini and apples, hoping for the best.

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“The village was a cloud of black smoke,” she said. “The firefighters told us to leave and not come back.”

Nearly 400 firefighters from Germany, Poland, Greece, Italy, Austria and Romania have deployed to France to help fight the blaze. Jesselyn Charles, the mayor of St. Magen, said in a phone interview Friday that firefighters are sleeping on the town hall, in her office and outside in the park.

Firefighters sleep in her office at City Hall and outside in the park.

She said of the fire: “It really is a dragon spitting its fire.” “It devours the forest.”

In recent days, thick clouds of smoke have risen above the area’s beaches and highways. The A63 motorway connecting Bordeaux with northern Spain has been closed by local authorities due to poor visibility.

The Gironde region’s chief, Jean-Luc Glezy, said an investigation was underway to determine whether the fire had ignited naturally or was caused by an arson. He said that although the original fire was extinguished in July, it could have entered the soil and survived underground, exploding on the surface due to dry soil, hot air and strong winds.

Approximately Half of Europe under what European Drought Observatory He describes them as “warning conditions,” referring to severe drought and significant soil deficits.

The general pattern produces more intense and frequent heat waves Man-made climate changeexperts say.

Europeans shocked by ‘heat apocalypse’ as temperature records drop

In southern France, firefighters were exhausted but resolute.

“We have to push it back,” said Guy Ruggie, a volunteer firefighter in Saint-Magne. We have to protect people. We have to protect the homes. And when those things are done, we can take the time we need to put out the fire.”

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Cui reported from Washington.

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