Drought, heat and high winds fan forest fires in southern France

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In southern France, hundreds of firefighters were still battling forest fires on Sunday that broke out over the weekend.

In drought conditions and with temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius, the first forest fires of the summer were fuelled by strong winds.

Near Narbonne, close to the border with Spain, 300 firefighters with dozens of emergency vehicles, firefighting planes and helicopters fought a blaze until the early hours of Saturday, which engulfed about 120 hectares of pine forest, according to the prefecture.

No people or buildings were harmed, but around 100 hectares of forest were destroyed.

On the Côte d’Azur, a blaze quickly began on Saturday in the mountainous hinterland of the town of Grasse, known for its perfume industry.

It had threatened the town of Spéracèdes near the town of Grasse but is now under control.

The fire brigade was able to prevent the flames from spreading to several houses and a perfume factory.

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