More than 240 hectares burned near Aubagne, vacationers evacuated
Firefighters fight against a fire in Carnoux-en-Provence, near Aubagne, 19 August 2017
Vacationers who lived near Aubagne were evacuated momentarily Saturday night and residents confined to their homes, while a forest fire has ravaged more than 240 hectares of vegetation, it was learned from the prefecture of Bouches- du-Rhône.
The prefecture opened a Crisis Staff, when the fire broke out in a wooded area with many individual dwellings.
At 23:00, no house was affected by the fire, said the prefecture in a statement, adding that 800 houses were preserved by the firemen.
The Odalys de Carnoux-en-Provence holiday center, which had been evacuated in the early evening, reopened. Local residents in the commune’s gymnasium were also able to return home from 23:00, an AFP photographer noted.
The fire, which had begun late in the afternoon, was heading towards Carpiagne late in the evening.
On Saturday, all the forest massifs of the Bouches-du-Rhône were closed to all traffic, including on foot, due to drought and wind, conducive to the outbreak of fires.
Other smaller fires were reported Saturday night in the department, including Fos-sur-Mer and La Ciotat, mobilizing a total of 800 firefighters, including 500 in Aubagne.
In Hérault, where the fire risk is also considered “very severe” this weekend due to wind and drought, firefighters reported two fire starts around 9:30 pm.
In Sérignan, where five hectares were burned and 30 people evacuated as a preventive measure, the fire was extinguished before midnight.
In the area of Béziers at the end of the evening, the fire was still in progress and was heading towards Villeneuve-lès-Béziers. A firefighter was slightly injured in the knee. The evolution of this disaster that initially threatened several tens of hectares was considered “very favorable” by the firemen.