A forest fire raged in parched southern France on Thursday, forcing 400 campers and residents to flee, firefighters said. The blaze has been contained after ravaging 500 hectares (1,250 acres) of pine forest and bush 40 kilometres (25 miles) southwest of Montpellier, the fire service said. Some 200 firefighters were still battling the blaze, with strong winds expected during the day. "Today's weather conditions call for the greatest prudence," the fire service said.At the height of the blaze 800 firefighters were involved. Last month, blazes across southern France and Corsica, which are experiencing a particularly hot and dry summer, saw thousands of people evacuated and huge areas of vegetation destroyed. Thousands of emergency services were brought in to battle the fires, while 12,000 locals and tourists were forced to stay in emergency shelters in the Var department.