Major fires devastate parts of Var

Photo: Facebook Bataillon de Marins Pompiers de Marseille
Photo: Facebook Bataillon de Marins Pompiers de Marseille

At the peak of the holiday season, the most serious fires to hit the south of France in recent years continue to devastate large areas around St-Tropez. By Wednesday afternoon, 3,200 hectares had been burned in the Var, and police are investigating the possibility that the fire near the resort town of Borme-les-Mimosas had been set deliberately.

On Tuesday, 10,000 visitors and residents had been evacuated from the area as a precaution. Hundreds of tourists spent the night on the beach at Cap Bénat, a rocky peninsula, with reports of children being frightened and alarmed.

Nine firefighters were injured battling the blazes. A total of more than 4,000 firefighters and military personnel have been dispatched.

President Emmanuel Macron used Twitter to show his support for the those battling blazes on Wednesday. “Admiration and courage for those who are fighting tirelessly against the fire ravaging some of our territories,” the French president said.

A total of 100 fire-fighting operations had been initiated since Monday, and while some smaller fires were brought under control on Wednesday, the vast number suggests arsonists at work. High winds and a lack of rain have spurred the fires.

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