PARIS – Fires whipped by high winds are ravaging several sites in southern France, including an industrial area near the city of Marseille where oil and petrochemicals are stocked.
Hundreds of children and adults were evacuated Wednesday from recreation centers and homes in the town of Vitrolles, north of Marseille.
Interior Minister Barnard Cazeneuve says four firefighters were injured, three seriously, by another fire in the nearby Herault region.
The minister said 1,200 firefighters are battling the blazes at the various sites, and planes are used to dump water from the skies to put out the flames.
Thick ochre-colored smoke could be seen from Marseille. The most sensitive fire was ravaging hectares around Fos-Sur-Mer, which includes a vast industrial zone about 40 kilometers (25 miles) northwest of Marseille.