Wind-Driven Fires Hopscotch Through South of France, Corsica

by The Associated Press, July 25, 2017

PARIS (AP) — Hundreds of firefighters in the Riviera region of southern France and on the island of Corsica battled wind-whipped blazes Tuesday that have left first responders injured.

Eight firefighters and some 15 police officers have been hurt in the fires that broke out Monday and have consumed nearly 4,000 hectares (9880 acres) of vegetation, according to French authorities.

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The French civil security authority has asked the European Union for help and to provide two Canadair planes to contain and extinguish the wildfire.

There have been no reports of injuries among residents or tourists.

Flames burned some 800 hectares (almost 2,000 acres) around the Var area of Provence, with two villas destroyed a dozen kilometers (7 miles) west of Saint-Tropez. A huge fire in the neighboring Luberon region was under control on Tuesday.

The Var prefecture said about 100 people were evacuated in Ramatuelle.

The largest blaze was in northern Corsica, with nearly 2,000 hectares (5,000 acres) burned.

French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb arrived Tuesday evening in Corsica to meet with emergency services.

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