HARBEL, Liberia (June 10)—Bridgestone/Firestone is "monitoring the situation" in newly strife-torn Liberia and is hopeful the violence won't escalate, according to a BFS spokesman. French military helicopters reportedly evacuated Americans and Europeans from the Liberian capital of Monrovia as rebels battled the troops of President Charles Taylor on the west side of the city. So far the BFS plantation hasn't been affected, since it is located some 35 miles east of Monrovia, the spokesman said. The Nashville, Tenn.-based tire maker employs about 6,000 on the plantation, which was founded in 1926 by Harvey Firestone. The company was forced to abandon the property during the bloody civil war of 1989-96, in which some 300,000 people were killed.