France was covered with large-scale fires

A Canadair firefighting plane drops water to extinguish a forest fire on La Croix Valmer from Cavalaire-sur-Mer near Saint-Tropez France

In a press release, Var officials said emergency responders had stabilised a fire that ravaged 500 hectares of countryside around the town of La Croix Valmer but blazes affecting a combined 3,300 hectares near Artigues, La Londe-les-Maures and Bormes remained a threat.

The residents and tourists of Bormes-les-Momosas were moved Tuesday night about 25 miles to the city of Toulon after a new wildfire burned almost 2,000 acres, French radio station RFI reported.

Southern France is particularly vulnerable to fires, with its dry vegetation and large forests.

In the nearby village of Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume, 740 acres of pine and oak trees burned.

On Friday morning, firefighters said the majority of the blazes were "under control".

Thousands of hectares of land have been devastated by flames since the start of the week, although Tuesday night's evacuation was far larger than other more minor ones where dozens of people and horses were moved to safety from fasten croaching infernos.

Firefighters in France appear to be winning the battle against the flames that swept up along the Mediterranean Coast.

Numerous evacuated tourists and residents had been staying in gymnasiums, a sailing club and other makeshift shelters in Bormes-Les-Mimosas, La Londe-Les-Maures and La Lavandou. "We need to find the persons responsible and punish them so that they don't do it again", the mayor said.

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A wildfire last month in central Portugal killed 64 people in one night.

The worst-hit areas were located 200 kilometers (125 miles) northeast of Lisbon, where the fires briefly forced the evacuation of some hamlets and the closure of a section of highway.

Firefighting planes continue to douse the area with tons of water and thousands of firefighters were called upon to control the flames.

The Coldiretti agriculture lobby said 50 million bees were destroyed along with their hives in fires on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius.

The Civil Protection Agency reports it has deployed more than 1,100 firefighters and 23 water-dropping aircraft to 13 blazes.

More than 70 percent of Portugal is enduring a severe drought.

Nearly 2,000 firefighters were deployed at six major blazes across Portugal Thursday. Civil Protection Agency spokeswoman Patricia Gaspar said continuing strong winds and tinder-dry woodland remain a menace.

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