18 firefighters injured during the forest fires in France
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More than 1,000 firefighters are battling widespread forest fires in southeastern France. During the weekend, local fire brigade in Gard stated that around 620 hectares of land have already been destroyed - but that the fire was under control.
A total of 18 firefighters have been injured in the efforts to control one of the major fires in Gard, in southeastern France.The injuries have mostly been heat exposures, smoke inhalation and various other minor injuries. However, French fire authorities are currently bracing for a wildfire season which is expected to get more intense as the summer progresses.
Adverse weather conditions - drought, heat and strong winds - made firefighting efforts difficult and water-bombing aircraft have been brought in to control the fire.
"This is a fire that will last for several days. The fire is still spreading freely", said Eric Agrinier at Gard's fire brigade to Franceinfo.
"Right now the situation is improving. The fire is under control, but we must remain vigilant", said Marie-Francoise Lecaillon at Gard's fire brigade to BFM television.
Residents in local villages evacuated
Last Friday, evacuation of residents in the villages of Bordezac and Bessèges were carried out as a preventive measure. So far, a total of 70 people have been evacuated.
On Monday, local authorities also issued a ban on entering certain forests . Residents in Bessèges, Bordezac and Gagnières were advised to stay indoors. No civilians were allegedly injured.