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750 firefighters put on standby in French department due to heat

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Paris: More than 750 firefighters have been put on a standby in the southern French department of Bouches-du-Rhone after the maximum red risk level for wildfires was declared due to severe heat, French broadcaster BFMTV reported on Saturday.

Some 15 firefighting airplanes have also been prepared for deployment in case of fires, the report said.

The red alert was issued for the second time in two weeks, and authorities have imposed several restrictions, such as a ban on barbecues in the forest, the broadcaster reported. In addition, the department has closed several regional parks and introduced a fine for violating the restrictions, which will be 135 euros ($148), according to the report.

According to data from the Meteo des Forets tracking service, as of Saturday, a red risk level was declared in the departments of Bouches-du-Rhone and Var, with a medium orange level assigned to three other southern departments,

On Friday, media reported that the Montpellier Zoological Park in the city of Montpellier in the southern department of Herault was closed due to the risk of fires.

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