A wildfire has broken out near France’s Bordeaux wine region

A wildfire has broken out near France's Bordeaux wine region
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LE TAILLAN-MÉDOC, France – A warm haze settled over the region around Bordeaux on Friday as hundreds of firefighters from across Europe joined their French counterparts to battle a raging wildfire in the country’s southwest.

The fire in the Gironde region, which reignited Tuesday after first burning here in July, is one of the most violent this season. It burned 19,000 acres of forest, displaced more than 10,000 people and spread fear and uncertainty in the quiet towns that dot the French countryside.

Firefighters brought the blaze under control overnight, but temperatures remained high and fresh air could hamper efforts to put out the fire, local officials said.

The fires come amid a particularly hot summer in France and across Europe, with several countries suffering historic droughts.

In the past two months, temperatures have soared to 104 degrees Fahrenheit in southwestern France, home to the Bordeaux wine region. Extreme heat and little rain have fueled an estimated 264 wildfires across France this year alone, according to Information Collected by the European Forest Fire Information System.

Melanie Morales Tutu, 39, an executive assistant in the city of Saint-Magne, was on a vacation from home with her family for a few hours Tuesday when she received word of an eviction order.

He rushes home to meet his cats and pet pigs, driving past a row of empty, black husks in what was once a pine forest. He grabbed the necessary documents, he said, but the 130-pound pig refused to budge. Tutu left him with a large zucchini and apple, hoping for the best.

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

Around 400 firefighters from Germany, Poland, Greece, Italy, Austria and Romania have deployed to France to help fight the blaze. Saint-Magnon Mayor Ghislaine Charles said in a phone interview Friday that firefighters are sleeping at city hall, both in his office and outside in the garden.

Firefighters sleep in his office at City Hall and outside in the garden.

“It really is a dragon spitting its fire,” he said of the fire. “It’s consuming the forest.”

In recent days, thick clouds of smoke have hung over area beaches and highways Local authorities have closed the A63 motorway linking Bordeaux with northern Spain due to low visibility.

Jean-Luc Glaze, president of the Gironde region, said an investigation was underway to determine whether the fire had re-ignited naturally or was caused by arson. He said that even if the original fire was extinguished in July, it could have penetrated the soil and survived underground, bursting to the surface due to dry soil, hot air and strong winds.

almost Half of Europe What is under European Drought Observatory Described as “alert status”, indicating severe drought and major soil deficiencies.

The result is an overall pattern of more intense and frequent heat waves Human-caused climate changeExperts say.

Europeans rocked by ‘heat apocalypse’ as record temperatures drop

In southern France, firefighters were tired but determined.

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

Tsui reports from Washington.

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