French firemen said yesterday they had brought under control fires that have burned about 2,000 hectares of forests in the southern region of Ardeche. More than 1,000 firemen, helped by troops, fought the fire through the weekend. No one was injured, but some hamlets were evacuated and several cows died when a farm burned down. French television reported that police were questioning nine youths whose campfire could have started the fire. Residents said it was the worst fire in the area for more than a decade. Firefighters hoped rainstorms, expected to hit the region west of Valence later in the day, would drown out the smouldering ashes.
(Information Source: Reuters News Service/Planet Ark, 22 August 2000)