French Minister: Gironde wildfire could be “act of arson”
The Gironde wildfire has been categorized by French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin as a possible act of arson given that there were eight separate fires simultaneously.
The Gironde wildfire in France has burned down more than 6,200 hectares, causing the major highway that leads to Bordeaux to be shut down. Up to 10,000 local residents have been told to evacuate.
The nature of the fire is unusual
French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin has called the nature of the fire unusual, as there were eight separate fires simultaneously, and disclosed that he suspects this is an act of arson.
The fire is threatening the nearby towns of Saint-Magne and Landiras, but the neighboring prefecture of Landes is also under threat. Beliet was the most recent town to evacuate with approximately 2,500 residents. However, since the start of the fire, no casualties have been reported.
So far, 1,000 firefighters, nine planes, and two helicopters have already contributed to fighting the fire, and local employers were urged to allow volunteer firefighters to take time off work and help with containing the blaze.
A continuous chain of blazes across Europe
The Hostens fire is considered by far the largest of about half a dozen active fires across France, followed by the blaze near Bauge-en-Anjou in Maine-et-Loire, which was estimated at 1,200 hectares as of noon on Wednesday.
The United Nations had previously warned of a 30% increase in wildfires due to global warming. Scientists studying the Mediterranean also concluded that the waters are having what they called a “marine wildfire” because of the consequences of global warming.