A forest fire is raging at an “unprecedented” pace in the famous wine region south of Bordeaux, France, firefighters said Wednesday.
The prefecture of Gironde in southwestern France ordered an estimated 10,000 residents to be evacuated.
“Get your papers ready, the animals you can take with you, some stuff,” the municipality of Gironde of Belin-Beliet posted on their Facebook for the evacuations.
No casualties have been reported as of Wednesday afternoon. According to the prefecture of Gironde, 16 houses have been destroyed.
The wildfire started in Saint-Magne and Hostens around 1 p.m. Tuesday before growing rapidly due to “adverse weather conditions,” the prefecture said.
Nearly 14,826 hectares were engulfed by the flames around Hostens and Belin-Béliet on Tuesday evening.
More than 1,000 firefighters, nine planes and two helicopters have been deployed to fight the blaze, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said in a statement on Wednesday.
The community of Landiras, the epicenter of the current wildfire, lost more than 34,000 hectares of forest in July.
According to officials, firefighters will be dealing with at least three other fires in the south of France on Wednesday.
French Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne tweeted that she will visit the region on Thursday.
“The mobilization of the government and state services, in addition to local elected officials, volunteers and residents, is absolute,” Borne tweeted.
According to Meteo France, the country’s meteorological service, a temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit is expected in southern France until the end of the week.
According to the EU’s European Drought Observatory, 63% of the European Union and the UK received a drought warning or warning on Wednesday.
More than 140,000 hectares of French land have burned so far this year, nearly six times the average for the country from 2006 to 2021, according to the European Forest Fire System.
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