Thousands of people in France and Spain evacuated as wildfires continue

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fires caused by extreme heat prompted authorities to evacuate thousands of people across Europe.

France evacuated 16,000 people in the south-west region of Gironde – a popular tourist destination – with blazes taking hold in the Teste-de-Buch and Landiras areas.

“Given the weather conditions and the significant risk of a fire starting, the authorities have temporarily blocked access to the forest area for professional and leisure activities, a statement said on Saturday.

Vincent Ferrier, sub-prefect of Langon in Gironde, added: “We have a fire which will continue to spread until it is stabilized”.

The heat has already led Tour de France organizers to spray the roads to prevent them from melting ahead of the peloton as the race enters its final week.

The fires in the hilly region of Mijas in southern Spain have seen authorities evacuate 3,200 people, although some have now been allowed to return.

Firefighters were struggling to contain a blaze that broke out near the city of Cáceres – threatening Monfragüe National Park.

Another fire near Malaga in southern Spain forced the evacuation of another 2,500 people.

Málaga resident Ellen McCurdy told Reuters: “We just took a few essentials and really ran, and at this point everyone along the street was moving…there were lots of ambulances and fire trucks.”

Pedro Muñoz, head of forest policy for the regional government, said a fire that broke out on Saturday evening in the Valle del Jerte region was “deliberate”.

Portugal’s fires are contained for now.

Turkey, Greece and Croatia have also seen firefighters battling wildfires.

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