Firefighters from seven countries help fight a large forest fire in southwestern France in the Gironde province, south of Bordeaux. Germany, Poland, Greece, Romania and Austria provided assistance. Sweden and Italy have already helped.
At France’s request, the European Union has now sent four firefighting planes from Greece and Sweden to the country.
France has been battling for weeks the ongoing forest fires in several regions. The Gironde fire has already destroyed more than 6,800 hectares of forest. More than 10,000 people have been evacuated as a precaution. The fire destroyed 17 homes.
The fire continued to spread on Wednesday evening, including in the nearby Landes region.
German colleagues come to the rescue
Firefighters from Germany headed to France on Thursday to help put out forest fires in the country.
At 3.30 am, fire engines departed from the states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony, bordering the Netherlands, heading for southwestern France. It belongs to 20 vehicles and 65 firefighters. The Germans are expected to start putting out the fire on Thursday evening.
This is the second time German firefighters have helped another European country after a request across the European Union. In 2019, the Germans aided in the Greek island of Peloponnese.
And the local authorities spoke in a press conference, Wednesday evening, about a “jealous battle” against the fire, which “the firefighting continues to surprise.” “It is as if we are dealing here with a monster that has brains and acts tactically,” a spokesman told the French daily. Sud Quest about the fire.
A firetruck operates during a forest fire in the Gironde.
No civilians were injured so far, but firefighters were injured
No civilians were injured in the fire. The authorities insist that “saving human lives is a priority”.
Several firefighters were injured during the fighting. One of them is in serious condition, “with burns to the legs and face.” A French newspaper wrote that two cars caught fire Le Monde.
France suspects arson
French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin believes the fire in the Gironde may have started. He even suspects that nine out of ten wildfires have become (unconscious). it causes by people.
A massive forest fire broke out in the area in July. Then 21,000 hectares of forest burned and nearly 37,000 people had to evacuate.
Since Wednesday, bushfires have also closed the A63 motorway, an important motorway from Bordeaux to the Spanish border in Hendaye.
An estimated 3,000 campers and residents of villages north of Montpellier were forced to leave the area on Wednesday as a precaution. He left. There were fears that the fire, which had already destroyed 700 hectares there, would spread even further.
The French fire brigade will receive help from German colleagues from Thursday.
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