Fires Cause Mass Evacuations on French Riviera

By Danielle Pope

Photo- ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/Getty Images
Photo- ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/Getty Images
Firefighters have evacuated thousands of tourists and residents after fires broke out on France’s Riviera coast.

Fires blazing across the south of France have forced the emergency evacuation of thousands of residents and tourists.

Backed by planes dropping water bombs, the French authorities have said that over 1,000 firefighters have moved approximately 12,000 people to safety as flames swept through forests along the Mediterranean coast. The blaze is the latest of several wind-whipped fires that are ravaging forest and scrubland on the hills and slopes that cover the French coast between Marseilles and the city of Nice in the south-eastern corner of France.

REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier

Residents and tourists were evacuated early on Wednesday after a ferocious fire whipped by strong mistral winds spread from La Londe-Les-Maures to dense forests around the small town of Bormes-Les-Mimosas.

The fires have been raging for nearly three days and have left large swaths of the Mediterranean forest bare. About 250 trailer homes, a hangar, an atelier and several vehicles have been burned, but so far no one has reported any injuries or casualties.

The French Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe has visited the devastated region and has warned of more challenges to come. “There will be more fires tomorrow,” he said. “The situation remains difficult, I must say. Like me, you feel the wind is blowing.”

 

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