Around 1,400 hectares of forest and woodlands in southern France and the island of Corsica was destroyed by fires on Monday, AFP reported. Emergency services said one inferno had spread across 900 hectares of forest. The biggest fire was reported in Bastidonne village, where the blaze burnt down some 600 hectares of forestland.
Authorities said there were forest fires in the city of Carros, close to Nice, and in the resort town of Saint-Tropez, as well. Over 100 residences were evacuated from Mirabeau village and from homes at the edge of the town of Biguglia.
“The fire is very fierce and heading to urban areas of Biguglia,” said Lieutenant Colonel Michel Bernier, of France’s civil defence forces. A sawmill and 10 vehicles were reported to have been completely burnt, reported Reuters.
Around 160 firefighters and more than a dozen fire engines are battling the flames in Biguglia, authorities said. “We are awaiting reinforcements,” said Regional Deputy Fire Chief Jean-Jacques Peraldi. More than 270 firefighters are on the scene in Carros.
Three firefighting planes were also called in to help with the rescue efforts and “have been surveying the area to make sure no homes are affected”, said local official Gerard Gavory.
A regional spokesman on Monday evening said the blaze was not under control yet, but the situation was bound to get better as the weather conditions were improving.