(Le Luc, France) The fire that has killed two people and destroyed thousands of hectares of forest on the Côte d’Azur in France since Monday is “less violent” on Thursday and firefighters are supported by “favorable weather conditions” to fight the flames win.
Posted on Aug 19, 2021 at 6:26 am
Estelle EMONET Agence France-Presse
“The fire is less violent, its progress is slowed, but there is still a risk of recovery,” said Var Prefecture, urging the thousands of evacuees, including many tourists, to stay in the open shelters since Monday evening.
On the fourth day of an intense fight, on land and in the air, the fire “has not yet been resolved and will probably develop”, but the weather conditions had been reported “favorable”, according to the fire brigade’s rescue operations commanders at the beginning of the morning Loïc Lambert.
As every morning since Monday, the fire engines arrived at the command post near the village of Luc at dawn and the night teams were relieved immediately.
At 7 a.m., water bombers and helicopters resumed their incessant rotations.
The cool night and the lack of wind allowed the rescuers “to have a quieter night,” said Dominique Lain, mayor of Luc and president of the department’s fire and rescue services, on Thursday morning.
But caution is advised in the face of this fire that burned 6,300 hectares of forest in the Massif des Maures and in the hinterland of the Gulf of Saint-Tropez. The day before, the 1,200 firefighters deployed had to face renewed outbreaks of fire.
Retarders were deployed along the A8 motorway, one of the busiest axes to Nice and Italy.
As of Monday, the fire was fueled by a strong wind and very high temperatures from a motorway rest area on the A57 northeast of Toulon.
Local residents testified the speed of the fire and the panic to protect themselves. Olivier Carimatrand, 50, believed that his last hour had come on the night from Monday to Tuesday: “We stretched out on the ground with my wife, my dog and the cat in the vines to protect ourselves from the heat waves that of the fire, ”he told AFP.
Only in the middle of the night did the mayor of the village “save” the flames with a car.
However, two charred bodies were found in a house in the same town of Grimaud.
With the announcement of these first two deaths, in addition to 26 people slightly injured (19 poisoned civilians and seven firefighters), the Prefect of Var Evence Richard only confirmed that one of them was a man and insisted that it was not give “no certainty”. the second body.
According to several relatives of a young woman who was missing since Monday evening and who was staying in an accommodation in Grimaud, the second victim would still be this 32-year-old Parisian tourist.
“Goodbye little sister”
Contacted by AFP on Facebook, a young woman near the disappeared confirmed the death of her boyfriend on the social network on Wednesday evening. This death was also announced by his brother in a message entitled “Goodbye Little Sister”.
When asked about the possibility of new victims, fire chief Loïc Lambert assured that “most of the areas have been explored”.
This fire, which broke out in a very touristy department in the middle of summer, required the evacuation of around 10,000 people.
On Wednesday evening, 1,300 holidaymakers were able to return to their tents and mobile homes from a campsite in the village of La Môle, but thousands are forced to stay in shelters.
The consequences of the fire are also very severe for the makers of Rosés de Provence, which are very popular in the United States and Europe as some winemakers have put their equipment or sheds in ashes. The Maures nature reserve, an oasis of biodiversity, was also partially devastated.
Several countries around the Mediterranean, from Israel to Morocco, via Algeria and Spain, were hit by severe fires this summer.