PARIS: A forest fire raged in parched southern France on Thursday, forcing 400 campers and residents to flee, firefighters said. The blaze has been contained after ravaging 500 hectares (1,250 acres) of pine forest and bush 40 kilometers (25 miles) southwest of Montpellier, the fire service said. Some 200 firefighters were still battling the blaze, with strong winds expected during the day.”Today’s weather conditions call for the greatest prudence,” the fire service said. At the height of the blaze 800 firefighters were involved. Last month saw blazes across southern France, which is experiencing a particularly hot and dry summer.