July 24, 2017 / 9:39 PM / 2 years ago

Fires destroy 1,400 hectares of forest in southern France

PARIS (Reuters) - Fires have destroyed some 1,400 hectares of forest and woodlands in the south of France and the island of Corsica on Monday, authorities said.

The biggest fire was in the village of Bastidonne, in the Vaucluse region, where fires, intensified by strong winds, consumed some 600 hectares of forest.

About 100 residences were evacuated in the village of Mirabeau and a dozen of horses in a stable were also moved to safer ground.

Part of the A51 highway and the railway line between Briançon and Marseille have been closed temporarily, and public access to several forest areas has been suspended, prefecture officials said.

There were also forest fires in Corsica, in the city of Carros close to Nice and in the resort town of Saint-Tropez, authorities said.

A prefecture spokesman said that early Monday evening the fires were not yet under control but the situation was evolving favorably as weather conditions were improving.

Reporting by Marc Leras and Matthias Galante; Writing by Geert De Clercq

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