UpdateIn France, thousands of people have been evacuated and campsites evacuated because of major forest fires. According to the French Ministry of the Interior, an area of 5,000 hectares has been affected. Some 750 firefighters were deployed to fight the blaze in the Var in the south of France. According to Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, everything is being done to protect the population of the area.
The region is also a well-known holiday destination for many Dutch people. Martin Weeterings from Heeswijk-Dinther in Brabant is camping in Grimaud in France and sees fire planes flying just above him. “Last night was terrifying. Only sirens could be heard. Here, the planes fly over the trees. We could smell the fire. ”
De Brabander has not yet received the order to evacuate, but he says he is “ready for this,” he explains as the roar of another firefighting plane is heard. “They’ve been flying since daybreak. They go around for about four or five minutes, and then they start again. Take water from the bay of Saint Tropez.
Several firefighting planes are deployed to contain the blaze, which broke out late Monday afternoon. The flames spread quickly due to the drought in the area and the strong wind. According to the Interior Ministry, 5,000 hectares of forest have already been burned. This represents around ten thousand football pitches. There are according to The world thousands of residents evacuated as a precaution. About 1,200 people are accommodated in gymnasiums and colleges.
Our favorite vacation spot is on fire
“Our favorite vacation spot is on fire,” laments Dutchman Mathil Sanders on Twitter about fires in the regions of Gassin, Grimaud and La Croix-Valmer.
“Thousands of people have been evacuated as a precaution, but there are no casualties. About 750 firefighters are fighting against this fire, which is still very active, “Var firefighter spokeswoman Commander Delphine Vienco told the French newspaper. Nine firefighting planes, several helicopters and aircraft from the army were also deployed to extinguish the blaze.
“The fire is still not under control at the moment,” said a spokesperson for the fire department. Firefighters fear that the disaster will worsen during the day because of the high temperatures and the mistral. This wind is blowing in the south of France in a north-westerly direction, towards the Mediterranean Sea. “The flames are progressing at four kilometers per hour while they are normally one kilometer per hour,” firefighters said.
The fire broke out near the village of Gonfaron, about fifty kilometers from the famous tourist town of Saint-Tropez, then quickly moved to La Garde-Freinet, Grimaud then to La Môle. Six roads in the region are temporarily closed due to forest fires. The extinction conditions are “very unfavorable”, declared Minister Gérald Darmanin. He will travel to the affected region on Tuesday, located between the cities of Marseille and Nice.
The map below shows the evolution of the fire (red icons). The text then continues.
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Half of the Plaine des Maures nature reserve has been destroyed. According to Concha Agero, deputy director of the French Biodiversity Agency, it is “a disaster” because it is one of the last places where a particular species of turtle lives, he said in the French media. Agero hopes these animals were able to bury themselves underground to protect themselves.
Many countries around the Mediterranean are currently experiencing forest fires. Groups of people have already been evacuated to Spain and Greece due to the increased fire. And Israel on Monday asked for help from France, Greece and Italy, among others, to tackle the large forest fires near Jerusalem. In Spain an area of around 24,000 football pitches was destroyed and in Israel an area of around 4,000 football pitches.
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