Wildfire in southwestern France: 6,000 people evacuated

This photo provided by the fire brigade of the Gironde region SDIS 33, (Departmental fire and rescue service 33) shows flames consume trees at a forest fire in Saint Magne, south of Bordeaux, south western France, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022. ( SDIS 33 Service Audiovisuel via AP)

PARIS (AP) - Firefighters were battling a wildfire in southwestern France on Wednesday in a region known for its pine forests that was ravaged by flames last month.

The blaze forced the evacuation of about 6,000 people and destroyed at least sixteen houses. A major highway near the city of Bordeaux was closed on Wednesday afternoon due to the fire raging nearby.

Photos released by firefighters showed flames raging through pine forests, sending clouds of dark gray smoke soaring into the sky.

More than 60 square kilometers (23 square miles) have burned in the Gironde region and the neighboring Landes in the latest wildfire to erupt in a European nation as the continent swelters through a hot and dry summer.

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin announced that more firefighters have been sent to the site in an effort to contain the fire.