Wild forest fires continue to rage across Europe, destroying everything in their path including homes, golf courses, shops and luxury mansions in the “post-apocalyptic” scenes.
in the FranceThousands more have been forced to flee their homes while 1,000 firefighters, supported by 10 water bombers, continue to battle two infernos that erupted Tuesday, fueled by searing heat, tinderboxes and strong winds.
The fires have now burned 7,300 hectares in the Gironde, an increase of 2,000 hectares just overnight, authorities said.
One of the French fires is in woods south of the Atlantic resort of Arcachon, a major attraction for visitors from across France and beyond during the summer season.
The other is in parkland not far from valleys dotted with vineyards that have struggled with hotter, drier weather than usual this year.
Some of the fire-fighting planes and equipment set to be on display at Thursday’s Bastille Day parade in Paris have been diverted for use in the Bordeaux region fires. Forest fires also broke out in south-eastern France and north of Paris.
Local resident Karyn told Le Figaro, “I’ve never seen it and it really feels like post-apocalyptic, it’s falling on cars everywhere, it’s worrying.”
FRANCE: Several hundred firefighters fought on Friday to contain two wildfires in the Bordeaux region of southwest France that have forced the evacuation of 10,000 people and devastated more than 7,000 hectares of land (pictured: a wildfire near Landiras).
SPAIN: A firefighter watches wildfire near Serradilla del Arroyo during the second heatwave of the year
PORTUGAL: A volunteer uses a branch to try to prevent a forest fire from reaching houses in the village of Casal da Quinta
Nations across southern Europe – experiencing the second heatwave in as many months – have been hit by a spate of wildfires in recent weeks
Another wildfire that broke out near the southeastern city of Tarascon on Thursday and burned at least 1,000 hectares has been stabilized, according to the fire department.
Wildfires also raged in Portugal, Spain and Croatia, burning down homes and threatening livelihoods, while much of Europe burned in the suffocating heatwave.
One of the two Gironde fires occurred near the town of Landiras, south of Bordeaux, where 4,200 hectares were burned, roads closed and another 480 residents evacuated, bringing the total there to nearly 1,000.
The other blaze, which has already burned 3,100 hectares, was along the Atlantic coast near the Dune du Pilat – the highest sand dune in Europe – in Arcachon Bay, above which plumes of heavy dark smoke billowed into the sky.
Around 6,000 people were evacuated from nearby campsites on Wednesday, with another 4,000 people evacuated early Thursday.
Three houses and two restaurants were destroyed in the area overnight, authorities said.
Portugal was hit particularly hard by forest fires this week.
A restaurant is destroyed by flames after wildfire spread near the beach at Cazaux Lac, near La Teste-de-Buch in southwest France
A fire plane throws water over a plume of smoke in Ladrillar, western Spain
Satellite imagery shows a large wildfire affecting Las Batuecas – Sierra de Francia Natural Park in Spain
Firefighters are still confronted with two aggressive wildfires in the Gironde that have burned more than 7,000 hectares and evacuated more than 10,000 people
A firefighter stands as wildfire spreads near the beach at Cazaux Lac near La Teste-de-Buch
One of the two Gironde fires occurred near the town of Landiras, south of Bordeaux, where 4,200 hectares were burned, roads closed and another 480 residents evacuated
More than 3,000 firefighters fought alongside ordinary Portuguese citizens desperate to save their homes from 13 wildfires that were raging across the country, fueled by extreme temperatures and drought conditions.
The country also recorded its record July temperature of 47C (117F) in Alijó yesterday, a record that has stood for 27 years.
The record temperature for each month was recorded in August 2003, just 0.7 F higher than yesterday’s oven-like heat.
Rebekah Vardy was among those caught in the deadly fires and watched from her balcony as the flames engulfed her luxury mansion.
The I’m A Celeb star fled the holiday home with her five children after the water supply was cut.
Her footballing husband Jamie is back in the UK to train with Leicester City ahead of the season.
Another wildfire that broke out near the southeastern city of Tarascon on Thursday and burned at least 1,000 hectares has been stabilized, according to the fire department
Firefighters take position in Cazaux as the town is evacuated after the forest fire in La Teste-de-Buch spread near the houses
This was announced by a source close to the family Sun: “It was horrific. Her neighbors have all been evacuated and one by one residents are being told to leave their homes.
“Becky can see smoke everywhere and is afraid the kids will breathe it in. The water is downstairs too, so she relies on bottled water, of which there’s obviously a limited supply at home.
“Jamie and her friends and family back home were all very concerned. Things are evolving by the hour, but she’s praying that the fire departments, who have been brilliant, can get things back under control.
Vardy stayed at the six-bed villa in the south of the country, which has three pools, a gym and a sauna.
The most worrying fire occurred near the town of Pombal, where planes and helicopters threw water on blazes Thursday that ripped down a slope lined by highly flammable pine and eucalyptus trees.
“When it hits the eucalyptus, it’s like an explosion,” said Antonio, an elderly resident of the nearby village of Gesteira, as he worriedly watched the approaching flames.
Across the border, in the Spanish city of Seville, one of the hottest spots in Europe this week, some unions have called for workers to return home.
Temperatures in many parts of Spain have been topping the 104F mark for several days and are expected to do so into next week.
Extreme temperatures and strong winds have hampered emergency response after the Las Hurdes fire in Cáceres and Salamanca.
More than 4,000 hectares have been destroyed so far in the four-day lightning-triggered fire.
Troops were even called to help evacuate a group of monks living at a monastery in Salamanca near the inferno.
Another fire also broke out in Monfrague National Park, a well-known bird sanctuary where many prehistoric cave paintings have been found.
Francisco Castañares, President of the Association of Friends of Monfrague, said: “The fire has certainly already burned down several black vulture nests, one of the jewels of the national park.”