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Major wildfire in southwestern France no longer spreading

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PARIS (AP) — A major wildfire that ravaged forests in southwestern France stopped spreading Thursday, according to local authorities.

The prefecture of the Gironde region said the wildfire has burned more than 37 square kilometers (14 square miles) since Monday, leading to the evacuation of 1,840 people.

Over 1,000 firefighters, six Canadair aircrafts, three Dash planes and two helicopters have been fighting the flames.

A series of heat waves has compounded a critical drought that has hit much of Europe this summer, creating prime wildfire conditions.

More than 646 square kilometers (249 square miles) of forest has burned so far this year in France, more than any other year in the past decade, according to the European Forest Fire Information System.

The touristic Gironde region was hit in July and August by giant wildfires that forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of residents and vacationers.

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