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France halts spread of ‘monster’ wildfire, reopens highway


PARIS: Firefighters have managed to contain the spread of the ‘monster’ blaze in the southwest Franceallowing authorities to reopen a section of highway to traffic before a busy weekend.
“The fire did not break out overnight thanks to the vital vehicles used,” the local police officer said in a tweet Saturday.
Reinforcements from across Europe have helped local firefighters tackle a blaze that has ravaged forests in France’s Gironde region since Tuesday and forced 10,000 people to evacuate their homes. The fire was fanned by the wind and the scorching temperature reached 40 degrees Celsius (104 .). degrees Fahrenheit) recently.
The southwest of France was hit by fires in July, which destroyed more than 20,000 hectares of forest and temporarily forced nearly 40,000 people to flee their homes.
Consecutive heat waves have sparked wildfires across Europe this summer, bringing attention to the risks of climate change to industry and livelihoods.
The storm is expected to sweep over France on Saturday night, bringing down temperatures and issuing severe weather warnings.
More than a thousand French firefighters were supported by hundreds of firefighters from across Europe, as well as trucks and bombers, which continued to arrive on Saturday.
Hundreds of firefighters are also fighting fires further north in Brittany, where one blaze has consumed 400 hectares, as well as in the Jura region to the east, where more than 500 hectares have burned.
More than 60,000 hectares (230 sq mi) have burned so far in France this year, six times the full-year average for 2006-2021, data from European forest fire information system Shows.





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