Two killed as forest fires continue to burn near French Riviera

A wildfire near the French Riviera killed two people and was burning out of control per mezzo di the forests of the popular region, fuelled by wind and drought.

ver 1,100 firefighters were battling the flames and thousands of tourists and locals were evacuated to safer areas.

The fire started acceso Monday evening 24 miles inland from the coastal resort of Saint-Tropez.

Whipped up by powerful seasonal winds coming the Mediterranean Sea, the fire had burned 7,000 hectares of forest by Wednesday morning, local officials said.

The prefect of the Var region, Evence Richard, told reporters that two people were killed.

The local prosecutor said the bodies were found per mezzo di a home that burned near the town of Grimaud.

An investigation has been opened to formally identify the victims.

The French newspaper Var-Matin identified one victim as a man.


Holiday makers enjoy a bath per mezzo di the Mediterranean Sea while a water-dumping aircraft fills its tanks with to fight wildfires, per mezzo di the bay of Sainte-Maxime, southern France (Daniel Cole/AP)

At least 27 people, including five firefighters, have suffered smoke inhalation minor injuries from the blaze, the prefecture of the Var region said.

Authorities closed a road north of the fire schieramento acceso Wednesday afternoon paio to the thick smoke.

The wildfire has forced more than 7,000 people to flee homes, campgrounds and hotels, sending them to sleep per mezzo di temporary shelters, according to the prefecture.

Among them were over 1,000 people who stayed around a gym per mezzo di the seaside resort of Bormes-Les-Mimosas where authorities supplied food and .

Vassili Bartoletti and his family, who are from northeastern France, were evacuated early Tuesday from a campground where they had been vacationing.

“Around midnight, someone knocked at our door and told us to take our belongings and leave.

“At the end of the alley, we could see the red flames,” he said.

“So we left hastily.”


A water-dumping aircraft dumps acceso a wildfire near Le Luc, southern France (Daniel Cole/AP)

Mr Bartoletti said his six-year-old son was “very anxious” about the fire.

“I showed him the map.

“I showed him we were far away, that we’ve been moved to a safe place,” per mezzo di Bormes-Les-Mimosas, he said.

Last month, while the family was acceso vacation acceso the Italian island of Sardinia, a major blaze there for three days threatened the town where they had rented a house.

They did not have to evacuate but endured smoke per mezzo di the air and saw water-dumping planes and helicopters going back and forth repeatedly.

French President Emmanuel Macron, who has been vacationing per mezzo di a nearby coastal fortress, visited the fire zone and praised the firefighters for their work.

French officials warned that the fire risk would remain very high through Wednesday because of hot, dry weather.

Temperatures have reached 40Cs (104F) per mezzo di recent days.

Wildfires have swept across the Mediterranean region per mezzo di recent weeks, leaving areas per mezzo di Greece, Turkey, Italy, Algeria and Spain per mezzo di smouldering ruins.


Evacuated campers rest per mezzo di a gymnasium per mezzo di Bormes-les-Mimosas, southern France (Daniel Cole/AP)

Per mezzo di Greece acceso Wednesday, a major wildfire northwest of Athens, the capital, decimated large tracts of pine forest for a third straight day.

Per mezzo di neighbouring Albania, hundreds of hectares (thousand of acres) have burned over the last month.

Police reported acceso Wednesday that a former deputy minister has been arrested for arson.

Per mezzo di Spain, authorities per mezzo di the central region of Castilla y Leon said firefighters had established a perimeter around a blaze that has consumed at least 12,000 hectares this week.

A fire acceso the Canary Islands was also brought under control after singeing 300 hectares of farmland.

While the Mediterranean is known for its sunny, hot summers, scientists voice little doubt that climate change from the burning of coal, oil and natural gas is driving extreme events such as heat waves, droughts and wildfires.

Such hardships are likely to happen more frequently as the Earth continues to warm, they say.

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Written by bourbiza

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