Thousands evacuated as wildfires rage across southern France

Thousands of tourists camping near Saint Tropez have also been forced to flee

Thousands evacuated as wildfires rage across southern France

Firefighters spray water as they try to douse a fire near the village of Biguglia, Corsica , France, 25-07-2017. Image: AP Photo/Raphael Poletti

At least 10,000 people have been forced to flee campsites and homes after a new fire broke out along the French Riviera.

Wildfires have already consumed swathes of forest across the country.

The new blaze is raging near Bormes-les-Mimosas, southwest of the popular resort Saint-Tropez.

Meanwhile, up to 900 hectares of forest has been engulfed in flames on the island of Corsica, off the southern French coast - threatening homes and businesses.

A further 860 hectares has been ravaged by a blaze in the Vaucluse department in the Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur region.

Bormes-les-Mimosas, south France

Following the spread of the fires in Bormes-les-Mimosas, a fire service official said: "The evacuations, at least 10,000, followed the progression of the fire. It's an area that doubles or triples its population in summer."

At around 2am on Wednesday, the Camp du Domaine campsite in the area was evacuated.

An anti-fire Canadair airplane drops water over a forest fire near La Croix-Valmer, southern France, 25-07-2017. Image: AP Photo/Claude Paris

Tourists in 1,000 camping plots were forced to flee, according to Lisa Minot, The Sun's travel editor, who was at the scene.

She wrote on Twitter: "First time I have seen (the campsite evacuated) in 42 years.

"Fire in behind us and wind strong.

"Fire still visible from our beachfront pitch. Kids are sleeping. Wish we had some info."

Ms Minot's mother Carol Bielfield was also at the site and said holidaymakers tried to keep composed.

"It was keep calm and carry on, make some tea, serve some biscuits and hope that you get some information," she said.

"But we've had no information at all. Everyone gave up, started leaving the beach and then the sirens went off and we were told to go back to the beach, but there's not been any information."


6.01am still no all clear. Wind still high. #var #bormeslesmimosas #france #incindie #travelgram

A post shared by Lisa Minot (@lminot) on


In Corsica, around 160 people were fighting a fire in the Biguglia area aided by more than a dozen fire engines, authorities said.

Local official Gerard Gavory said three fire-fighting planes were also involved, and were "surveying the area to make sure no homes are affected."

Another fire on the south of the island destroyed 110 hectares of forest around the town of Aleria before being brought under control on Monday.

An aerial view shows houses adjacent to terrain scorched by wildfire near the village of Biguglia, Corsica, France. Image: AP Photo/Raphael Poletti

Vaucluse, Southeast France

Fire chiefs in the Vaucluse department told AFP news agency they had been unable to keep the flames under control on Monday night.

But on Tuesday morning, Apt official Dominique Conca told Le Dauphine newspaper that, while firefighters were still working to keep homes safe, the fire was contained.

She said that of the 600 firefighters battling the blaze, 180 had been mobilised to stop houses being destroyed in Mirabeau.

More than 270 firefighters were forced to fight another blaze in Carros, north of Nice, which burned a house, three vehicles and a warehouse.

A helicopter battles a fire in Carros, northwest of the city of Nice in the Alpes-Maritimes department of southeastern France. Image:   Clemente Patrick/ABACA/ABACA/PA Images

Experts blamed a combination of a lack of rain and the Mistral wind fanning the flames in the already tinderbox-dry conditions.

Authorities said the Var department, which includes Saint-Tropez and much of the Riviera, has been placed at an unprecedented level of threat of forest fires.

The south of the department, which also includes the resorts of Frejus, Saint-Maxime and Toulon, was graded an "exceptional" risk of a blaze with the north of the department judged "very severe".

The south of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence was also "very severe" and the Bouches-du-Rhone department ordered people to stay away from several mountain areas surrounding Marseille and Aix-en-Provence due to the risks.

Peyrolles was among the areas hit by fire in Bouches-du-Rhone.