France wildfires force mass evacuation

Patrice Gainsbourg
Julho 28, 2017

Wildfires are raging across the south of France - forcing the evacuation of more than 10,000 people.

While tying specific events such as this to the general climate warming (and weirding) trend that the world is now undergoing isn't something that can be done definitively, it still seems worth drawing a link here.

Fires also were blazing across parts of bone-dry Portugal and Italy.

A fire official said: "The evacuations, at least 10,000, followed the progression of the fire". Photos from the scene last night show people sleeping under sheets on the beach, with flames and smoke clearly visible inland.

The Var prefecture said about 100 people were evacuated in Ramatuelle.

As thick black smoke billowed above the crests of hills, Col. Eric Martin of the Var firefighting unit told BFM-TV that French crews were trying to contain the flames that had run through 3,210 acres around Bormes.

France's Mediterranean coast is particularly vulnerable to fires as forests dry in the summer. Four planes and a fire-fighting aircraft dropped water and retardants on the blazes.

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Witnesses said a block of metal thought to form part of the buffer had ended up more than six feet inside the front carriage. At least 18 people had been taken to hospital according to Barcelona's emergency officials.

The airport in Toulon, a city 18 miles from La Londe, was briefly closed Wednesday, as well the Fort de Bregancon, which sits on a rock off the coast of Bormes.

The biggest blaze was in Serta, in the Castelo Branco region, where more than a quarter of the country's firefighters were attempting to halt its progress.

Reinforcements were sent in to battle a blaze in Artigues on Tuesday that burned up to 1,700 hectares of forested land.

The regional head of security Stephane Bouillon described a fire in La Croix-Valmer near Saint-Tropez, as "extremely virulent and hard to control".

In the nearby area of Londes-les-Maures, fires began to burn just before 11 p.m. local time and, despite the dispatch of 540 firefighters, have not yet been brought under control.

Some campsites have already been destroyed by the blazes, she said.

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