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1,000 Battle Forest Fire in France

July 24, 1999| From Associated Press

MARSEILLE, France — More than 1,000 firefighters using land vehicles and aircraft contained a fire Friday that has swallowed large swaths of Riviera pine forests, fire officials said.

Fanned by winds up to 60 mph, the fire, which started Thursday night, spread quickly through the Alpilles hills of the Bouche-du-Rhone region, where Marseille is located.

The Departmental Fire and Rescue Center said the blaze devastated nearly 6,000 acres of pine forest and scrubland and destroyed two homes. Early Friday, rescue workers evacuated Mouries village, with 2,300 inhabitants.

About 20 firefighters were treated for smoke inhalation.

Fire officials said the blaze was contained but the threat of it spreading still remained.

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