Thousands of French firefighters battle 'monster' wildfire near Bordeaux

French firemen fighting a forest fire near Hostens in the Gironde region Thursday. Firefighters say it’s a “monster” fire and the Gironde prefect said 36,750 people have been evacuated as the fire rages. Handout photo from the Gironde Fire Brigade via French President Emmanuel Macron Twitter feed.

Aug. 11 (UPI) — Several nations Thursday were sending firefighting help to bolster 4,200 firefighters battling what they describe as a “monster” wildfire near the French city of Bordeaux.

It’s the second day of the huge fire in the French region of Gironde and a total of 36,750 people have been evacuated, according to a Gironde prefect statement Thursday.

The statement also said “3,000 Girondin firefighters and 1,200 firefighters from all over France and Switzerland were mobilized.”

“It’s an ogre, it’s a monster,” firefighter representative Gregory Allione told France’s RTL Radio.

French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that a total of 10,000 “firefighters and civil security personnel” are mobilized to fight the fire. He announced via Twitter that Germany, Austria, Greece, Poland and Romania are coming to aid France in fighting the fire.

Gironde officials said 13,000 homes are threatened by the flames, with 2,800 homes “directly exposed to fire.” The Gironde prefect said the weather conditions are “very unfavorable and conducive to the outbreak of fires due to the scorching temperatures expected in the coming days, the dryness of the soil and the air.”

The Gironde prefect statement Thursday said 51,397 acres of forest has been burned. No civilian casualties reported, but 27 firefighters have been injured while fighting the fire, according to Gironde officials.

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