Hundreds of firefighters battle 150 hectare blaze in south west France

Hundreds of firefighters battle 150 hectare blaze in south west France
The blaze is in the forest area of the Charente-Maritime. Photo: AFP
Four hundred firefighters are battling a 150 hectare wildfire in south west France.

Emergency crews from across the region have been called to the forest near Bédenac in Charente-Maritime, which broke out on Wednesday afternoon.

By Thursday morning firefighters said the blaze had been stopped from spreading, but there were still 400 firefighters on the scene trying to get the flames under control.


Around 25 people who lived nearby have been evacuated from their homes and trains on the nearby TGV line from Paris to Bordeaux were halted on Wednesday. They later restarted, but are running at reduced speed, meaning there will be delays to journey times.

The RD 158 road to the west of Bébenac and RD 271 to the south of the commune remain closed to traffic, diversions have been put in place. 

The unusually hot summer and drought conditions in France have created the perfect conditions for large wildfires, and several major blazes have already struck the country since June, including a blaze that spread to the outskirts of Beziers and an 800 hectare fire in Generac in which the pilot of a firefighting plane died.

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