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    70 ha of forest up in flames in Ardèche, France

    Credit: Belga

    A fire that broke out on Saturday afternoon close to Saint-Marcel-lès-Annonay in France’s Ardèche department, was finally contained on Sunday afternoon.

    The fire laid waste to about 70 ha of forest, according to the Prefectur. About 15 homes were evacuated in the early evening as preventive measures. By that time, the authorities had mobilised about 300 firemen and women, supported by four Canadair aircraft.

    The evacuated residents were able to go back home at around 10pm.

    The fire services from Ardeche, the Loire and the Drome took the fight to the flames from early afternoon. While the fire was contained, the fire services were scheduled to remain on site throughout the night to deal with any hotspots, the Prefecture said.

    The disaster was likely due to the high temperatures and drought conditions in the region, which is still under code orange by Meteo France.

    For the first time this year, the prefecture of Ardèche activated its Plan of Alarm, which toughens surveillance measures and strengthens the ability to detect fire outbreaks.

    The Brussels Times