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Environment

Boy, 14 years, admits setting Avignon forest fire

media A firefighting tanker plane flies over forest devastated by wildfire near … Reuters/Loic Le Loet

A 14-year-old French boy has admitted setting a massive wildfire that has ravaged 400 hectares of forest and farm land near Avignon. The blaze close to the village of Orgon was under control but not out late Monday, officials said.

The boy, who was detained on Sunday, had already charged with arson in Orgon in July, sources told the AFP news agency.

He was related to a local politician, they said.

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About 500 firefighters stayed in the area overnight.

The fire has been the largest in south-east France this year, although the south-west has been worse hit, most notably by a fire in Lacanau, near Bordeaux, which destroyed 650 hectares of pine forest.

Forestry officials in Orgon say that the fire there, which was spread by the Mistral wind, has covered between 900-1,000 hectares but not burnt all of the land that it covered.

An estimated 400 hectares of forest and farm land have been destroyed, along with two houses, but no-one has been hurt.

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