Thousands evacuated as hundreds of firefighters battle fire in southern France

Thousands evacuated as hundreds of firefighters battle fire in southern France

Thousands of people have been evacuated since Monday in southeastern France to escape a rapidly-advancing wildfire.

The coastal Var department’s evacuations took occurred in the hinterland, particularly in the towns of Grimaud and La Môle, near Saint Tropez.

According to the Prefecture, 12 campsites were also evacuated.

On Monday, a fire broke out at the Sigues motorway service facility, about 100 km northeast of Toulon.
By early morning on Tuesday, it had travelled 22 kilometres and burnt 5,000 hectares of forests. About 100 houses were damaged.

Some 750 firefighters were battling the blaze overnight.

Their ranks were swollen by a further 150 firefighters in the morning as well as 120 gendarmes sent in to secure the area.

On Tuesday, they were aided by four firefighting planes, a helicopter, and two Dash aircraft that drop fire retardant.

“The conditions are unfavourable with a strong wind and high temperatures,” the fire service warned.

Due to the temperature, the Var is one of just two departments under a yellow alert on Tuesday morning.

Several roads have been closed, with authorities advising residents not to impede emergency personnel from taking photographs.


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