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4,400 hectares of forests destroyed by wildfires in southeast France

Christian Fernsby |
Wildfires have ravaged forests in the southeastern region of France, consuming 4,400 hectares so far this year due to dry and hot summer season, local media reported on Thursday.

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Flames have destroyed 43.5 percent more forests for the January-July period this year, compared to the whole year of 2018 during which 3,065 hectares were reported burnt, BFMTV news television reported, citing figures from state-run Promethee database on wildfires in southeastern departments.

Early this week, wildfire spread over 30 hectares of land in Var, triggering the deployment of 300 firemen and seven aircrafts including Canadair water bombers.

"Drought and weather conditions increase the risk of wildfires. Our vigilance is maximum for the coming days," French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner tweeted.

"I call everyone to the responsibility: the risk extreme," he said.

Wildfires, often started by arsonists, are frequent during the summer in southern France, the country's second main tourism destination after the capital Paris.

Green activists have warned of high risk of wildfires as summers become hotter and drier due to global warming, if nothing is done to curb greenhouse-gas emissions.

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