Over 3,000 people have been evacuated as a violent wildfire broke out Monday evening near Saint-Andre, a commune in the department of Pyrenees-Orientales in southern France.
The fire broke out at about 5:15 p.m. local time (1515 GMT), French news channel BFMTV reported, citing local fire department.
According to the local firemen, some 530 hectares of land have been burnt, resulting in the evacuation of more than 3,000 people nearby.
Speaking at a press briefing at about 9 p.m., the prefect of the department Rodrigue Furcy said that the situation started to “improve”, but the fire was “not completely” under control yet.
More than 500 firefighters have been deployed to contain the spread of the wildfire with the help of 13 planes and 3 helicopters, according to French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin.
In 2022, 72,000 hectares of land were burned in France, according to the French Interior Ministry.