Over six thousand acres (2,500 hectres) of forest and brush land have been ravaged on the island of Corsica by fires that have sprung up in several parts of the island since Saturday (August 3).
GV Trees burning on mountain (2 shots)
CU Trees and undergrowth burning (4 shots)
GV Aircraft flies over
GV Fire with village in foreground (2 shots)
GV Aircraft overhead
GV Smoke with village in foreground
CU Pilots in water bomber
Air To Air shot bomber drops water onto fire
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Background: Over six thousand acres (2,500 hectres) of forest and brush land have been ravaged on the island of Corsica by fires that have sprung up in several parts of the island since Saturday (August 3).
The situation could reach catastrophe proportions in the days to come because the 700 people fighting the fires have been working without relief for four days and are close to exhaustion. To add to the difficulties, aircraft and helicopters used in the fire-fighting operations have broken down and the island's resources - both human and mechanical - are str???tched to the limit.
Corsica - a department of France situated in the Mediterranean sea - is long accustomed to forest fires. Over the years forest land has been drastically reduced by the fires that break out during the long, dry summer months.
This year has been no exception. The Bavella area of the island is most seriously affected, with 350 firemen, legionnaires, and commandos of the French army and air force fighting to control a fire raging in what is one of the island's sole remaining pine forests.
On Tuesday five firemen achieved a near-miracle when they successfully diverted a fire that was threatening an explosives depot in Ajaccio, the principal city of Corsica. They were on reconnaissance in the area and discovered an unreported fire. Working under extreme difficulties they managed to divert the flames when they were less than five yards from the wall of the depot.