Houses burnt as new wildfire rages in southwestern France

PARIS, Sept 13 (Reuters) - A wildfire is raging in southwestern France, destroying four houses, burning 1,300 hectares and forcing the evacuation of 540 people in an area already hit this summer by huge blazes.

Almost 350 firefighters and six aircraft are battling the fire that started on Monday in the wine growing Medoc area.

"Four houses and several buildings have been burnt," said the prefect of the Gironde department on Tuesday.

France, like the rest of Europe, has had to tackle heatwaves and a drought over the summer that have caused multiple wildfires across the continent.

More than 60,000 hectares (230 square miles) have gone up in flames so far in France this year, the bulk of it in southwestern France - six times the full-year average for 2006-2021, according to data from the European Forest Fire Information System.

Reporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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