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Wildfires force French Riviera evacuations

Flames and smoke fill the sky above a burning hillside as tourists swim on the beach in Bormes-les-Mimosas, in the Var department, France, July 26, 2017. (Jean-Paul Pelissier/Reuters)

Wildfires force French Riviera evacuations

French authorities ordered the evacuation of up to 12,000 people around a picturesque hilltop town in the southern Côte d’Azur region as fires hopscotched around the Mediterranean coast for a third day Wednesday.

A raging wildfire began late Tuesday in the dry Mediterranean forests around La Londe-les-Maures before being pushed by the mistral winds to Bormes, a tourist magnet with houses clustered on a hill surrounded by dense forests of scrub and trees.

The local Var Matin newspaper reported that 12,000 people were forced to take refuge in gymnasiums and other places, including thousands of campers. It said some people sought safety on local beaches. (AP)

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