France

Wildfires threaten French Riviera, inadequate aircraft cited

Backed by planes dropping water and fire retardant, more than 1,000 firefighters battled wildfires Wednesday that billowed smoke into the sky over France's southern Cote d'Azur coast and forced the evacuation of at least 12,000 people.

France's prime minister, visiting the area, predicted a grim day ahead.

Large swaths of Mediterranean forest have been left bare and blackened after three days of fires. About 250 trailer homes, a hangar, an atelier and several vehicles were burned in the blazes, but no one has been injured so far, the prefect of the Var region said.

Residents and tourists were evacuated early Wednesday after a ferocious fire whipped by strong Mistral...

65°