Mon, 04 Dec 2023

PARIS, France: French firefighters have stopped the spread of a "monster" wildfire in the country's southwest, allowing the reopening of a stretch of highway to traffic.

This week, a local prefect said on Twitter, "The fire did not advance overnight thanks to the significant means employed."

Local firefighters were assisted by extra personnel from throughout Europe to tackle the blaze, which has ravaged forests in France's Gironde region since last week and forced 10,000 people to evacuate their homes.

Strong winds and recent scorching temperatures of up to 104 Fahrenheit fanned the flames.

The southwest of France had already been hit by fires in July, which destroyed forests covering more than 20,000 hectares and forced some 40,000 people to evacuate their homes.

The successive heatwaves that sparked wildfires across Europe this summer have highlighted the risks posed by climate change to industry and livelihoods.

Meanwhile, storms are expected, prompting severe weather warnings across France.

In Brittany in northern France, hundreds of firefighters are also fighting fires that have burned 400 hectares.

Data from the European Forest Fire Information System showed that more than 60,000 hectares have been destroyed in France this year, six times the full-year average for 2006 to 2021.

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