Wildfires rage in France
News Desk || risingbd.com
A wildfire was advancing through the Gironde region of southwestern France on Wednesday, destroying homes and forcing the evacuation of thousands of residents, some of whom had clambered onto rooftops as the flames got closer.
More than 1,000 firefighters backed by water-bombing aircraft were fighting the fire that has razed more than 6,000 hectares and is still burning out of control.
France, like the rest of Europe, is struggling with successive heatwaves and its worst drought on record. Dozens of wildfires are ablaze across the country, including at least four other major ones.
In the village of Hostens in the Gironde, police went door to door telling residents to leave as the fire advanced. Camille Delay fled with her partner and her son, grabbing their two cats, chickens and house insurance papers before taking flight.
"Everyone in the village climbed onto their rooftops to see what was happening - within ten minutes a little twist of smoke became enormous," the 30-year-old told Reuters by telephone.
The local Gironde authority described the blaze as "rampant".
Firefighters said more evacuations were likely. Even so, some Hostens residents were reluctant to abandon their homes.
"It's complicated to go with the dogs and we cannot leave them here," said Allisson Horan, 18, who stayed behind with her father.
"I'm getting worried because the fire is in a plot of land behind ours and the wind is starting to change direction," she added. _Agencies