Paris, Europe Brief News – More than 10,000 people have been evacuated to save them from wildfires in the Gironde region of south-west France.
The massive blaze, that destroyed more than 15,000 hectares (37,000 acres) of pine forest in July, sparked up again and tore through woodland.
“The fire is rampant and has now spread to the Landes départment,” local authorities in the wine-growing départment said.
The French government doubled the number of firefighters to 1,000 on Wednesday afternoon, supported by planes dropping water.
The fire which began in the Landiras area in July reignited late on Tuesday, amid a fierce drought and high temperatures.
It quickly burned through 6,000 hectares of woodland overnight and on Wednesday morning the fire service said the blaze continued to “progress quickly”.
Martin Guespereau, an official for the Gironde region, announced the closure of a major stretch of motorway between Bordeaux and Bayonne as the fire headed towards it and smoke caused visibility problems.
“We’re facing a day of very high risk,” he said. The hot weather conditions and record-breaking drought in the area had contributed, he said. July’s inferno had never totally extinguished, but had continued to smoulder in the area’s peaty soil.
High afternoon temperatures reignited the fire driven by hot winds, local authorities said.