Major wildfire erupts in southeast France (VIDEOS, PHOTOS)

Some 900 firefighters backed by water-dropping aircraft have been deployed to battle the blaze

A massive wildfire erupted in France’s southeastern region of Gard overnight. As of Friday, the fire had ripped through over 600 hectares (more than 1,500 acres) of land, according to French emergency services.

Some 13 firefighters were injured in the village of Bordezac, where the fire started. 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.

#France – Firefighters spray water to extinguish a wildfire near Besseges, southern France.
📷 Sylvain THOMAS #AFP

— Aurelia BAILLY (@AureliaBAILLY) July 8, 2022

“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, a senior member of the fire service, told the AFP, describing the firefighting effort as a “feat of endurance.”

Retour PHOTOS sur la nuit de lutte contre l’incendie gigantesque à Bordezac-Béssèges. Courage et force à nos soldats du feu du Gard et d’ailleurs.

En savoir plus sur les feux dans le Gard à 7h:

— Sapeurs Pompiers du Gard (@pompiersdugard) July 8, 2022

The blaze has triggered evacuations in Bordezac, as well as in the nearby village of Besseges and other areas. Some 100 people have been placed into holiday homes and restaurants in the area, local authorities have said.

Feu à Bordezac : 620 hectares de végétation détruits, 680 pompiers et 180 engins sont déployés sur ce sinistre dont 150 pompiers du Gard et 8 colonnes extra- départ venus en renfort. Des évacuations préventives dans les villages de Bordezac et Besseges, le feu est toujours actif.

— Sapeurs Pompiers du Gard (@pompiersdugard) July 8, 2022

More than 35 wildfires have been registered over the past 24 hours in the neighboring Bouches-du-Rhone region. The majority of fires , some of which threatened homes and businesses, were promptly quenched overnight, the local firefighting service said.

Depuis 7h, les #Pompiers13 ont fait face à 35 #feux d’espaces naturels.
Aucune victime n’est à déplorer.
Des centaines d’habitations et commerces ont été préservés grâce aux actions rapides des moyens terrestres et aériens

🚒🚁 @MarinsPompiers et @SecCivileFrance

— Pompiers 13 (@Pompiers_13) July 7, 2022

France’s southeast has suffered from drought this year, which has greatly increased the risk of wildfires. Last month, a major blaze erupted close to the Mediterranean port city Marseille, triggered by artillery shelling at a local military training range.

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