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Major wildfire erupts in southeast France (VIDEOS, PHOTOS)

The fire was fought by 900 firefighters, backed with water-dropping helicopters.

A massive wildfire erupted in France’s southeastern region of Gard overnight. According to French emergency services, by Friday the fire had consumed over 600 ha (more than 1,500 acres of land).

The fire broke out in Bordezac and 13 firefighters were hurt. All in all, more than 900 first responders backed by at least two water-dropping planes were deployed to battle the blaze, described as a “mega-fire” by emergency services. The fire is expected to be quenched completely within “several days,” according to local authorities.

“This fire is far from being done, there are fronts in hard-to-reach areas that we haven’t tackled and that are advancing freely,”Eric Agrinier was a top member of the fire department and described the effort in firefighting as a “feat of endurance.”

Evacuations have been ordered in Bordezac as well as Besseges, and in other nearby areas due to the blaze. According to local authorities, around 100 people were relocated into restaurants and holiday homes in the vicinity.

In the Bouches du-Rhone, 35 wildfires occurred in 24 hours. According to the local firefighting agency, most of the fires, which were threatening homes and businesses in nearby Bouches-du-Rhone, were quickly put out by nightfall.

France’s southeast has suffered from drought this year, which has greatly increased the risk of wildfires. A major fire broke out last month near Marseille, the Mediterranean port. It was triggered by artillery firing at a military training facility.



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