MARSEILLE, France, July 25 (Reuters) – Fireman brought a wildfire spread over nine square kilometres (3.5 sq mile) of land in southern France under control on Sunday, fire services said.
The blaze, which threatened homes and forced some areas to be evacuated, started on Saturday close to oil refineries near l’Etang de Berre, about 30 km (18 miles) west of the port city of Marseille, before spreading eastwards into arid woodlands.
Fanned by strong winds, television pictures showed large swathes of trees and vegetation ablaze and planes dropping water over the area.
“The fire is under control and is no longer spreading,” said a spokesman for the local fire department.
Hundreds of firemen were battling to put out the flames, which were still raging on Sunday morning, but winds had calmed down, emergency services said.
About 2,000 tourists were moved from a campsite. No one was injured, officials said, adding the fire was likely to have been sparked on purpose.
Wildfires, often started by arsonists, are frequent during the summer in southern France.
(Reporting by Francois Revilla and John Irish in Paris; editing by Myra MacDonald)