500 firefighters battle new wildfire in France

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jul 27 2022 04:15 AM

Firefighters prepare to tackle the Southern Gironde wildfire at La Teste-de-Buch, France, July 14, 2022. Caroline Blumberg, EPA-EFE
Firefighters prepare to tackle the Southern Gironde wildfire at La Teste-de-Buch, France, July 14, 2022. Caroline Blumberg, EPA-EFE

Nearly 500 firefighters were battling to contain a new wildfire in southern France on Tuesday that has forced the evacuation of a village and burned through 500 hectares of forest and vineyards, local officials said.

Residents in Aumelas, a settlement of 500 people 20 kilometers west of Montpellier, have been ordered to leave their homes as winds carry the flames towards them.

"In total nearly 500 firefighters are deployed," the local government said in a statement, adding that two aircraft were also dropping water on the blaze.

The surrounding Herault region was hit by a relatively small wildfire last week and is considered at "high" or "very high" risk of fires after months of drought-like conditions and high temperatures.

Two huge blazes near Bordeaux in southwest France over the last fortnight destroyed more than 20,000 hectares of forest and required around 2,000 firefighters to bring them under control.

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