• Fires in southern France ‘under control’

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    MARSEILLE: Huge fires that forced mass evacuations of residents and holidaymakers in southern France were “under control” early Thursday, firefighters said, although they warned new blazes were still starting. In the village of Bormes-les-Mimosas, located near beaches popular with tourists on the Cote d’Azur, “the fire is not completely under control but we are winning the fight,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Michael Bernier, the civil security officer leading the emergency effort there. “Things are going in the right direction but new fires are starting caused by gusts of wind,” he said. In Bouches-du-Rhone region, three major fires that have burned thousands of square kilometers were also tamed or being dampened down on Thursday, firefighters told Agence France-Presse. Around 10,000 holidaymakers and residents were forced to flee to the safety of public shelters overnight Tuesday as flames swept towards campsites. Over 6,000 firefighters, troops and civil security officials are involved in efforts to put out the flames, backed up by 19 planes that drop containers of water on the flaming trees and bushes.

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