Paul Ricard under threat - from fire

THERE have been some huge fires in the last day and a half in the south of France, one of the biggest being around the Paul Ricard racing circuit at Le Castellet where 400 firemen and Canadair aircraft have been fighting to contain a 2000-acre blaze around the track. Hundreds of people had to be evacuated from the area.

The fire, believed to have been started by an arsonist, has been fanned by the famed Mistral winds which blow strongly in the area at this time of year. The wind, coupled with dry vegetarian after the summer have meant that the fires have been difficult to contain. Two firemen have died in another fire close by.

The Paul Ricard fires were reported to be under control last night but the fire services were remaining on site because of the threat that the winds would reignite the blaze.

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