news and events » news

News Header

News Item

return to News

Firefighters from all over Europe battle ‘monster’ blaze in France; others burn

by Sky News staff reports |

Firefighters from all over Europe have been deployed to help battle the "monster" wildfire in southwest France for a third day in a row - as others burn throughout the continent.

The blaze in the Gironde and Landes regions has damaged 29 square miles of land – around 17,300 acres.

At least 10,000 people have been evacuated from their homes, with 360 fire staff and 100 vehicles sent from Germany, Romania, Poland and Austria to help put out the flames.

Greece also sent two specialist aircrafts, while Sweden deployed two firefighting Air Tractor planes to help with separate wildfires in Brittany.

Gregory Allione, of France's firefighting body the FNSPF, described it as an "ogre" or a "monster."

Blistering August temperatures and long periods of no rainfall have resulted in rural fires across the continent.

In Portugal, 1,500 firefighters are working for the sixth day to put out one in the central Covilha region that has burned across 40 square miles, including parts of the Serra da Estrela national park.

Over the border in Spain, electrical storms have seen a forest fire break out in Caceres, forcing the evacuation of hundreds of nearby residents.

Across the Alps, Swiss army helicopters have been drafted in to airlift water to cows, pigs and goats whose normal water supplies have dried up.

In other parts of France, trucks are having to deliver water to remote villages were sources have run dry, while nuclear power stations have been given waivers to keep pumping hot discharge water into rivers.