Thousands of inhabitants and tourists were rescued on Tuesday as a major fire broke out in the Var department in the south of France, local authorities reported.
The forest fires, suspected to have started by miscreants in the town of Gonfaron on Monday, are still not under control.
Dominique Lain, president of the Departmental Fire and Rescue Service (Sdis) of Var, told BFMTV news, “as always, a human error is at the origin of this fire since it started close to a motorway rest area, the Sigues area in the Gonfaron-Nice direction.”
Nearly 900 firefighters and 60 rescuers are engaged in the mission to stabilize the flames with the help of four Canadair and two Dash water jet bomber planes. Similar fires have affected vast regions of Greece, Italy and Turkey in recent days.
With the temperatures soaring up to 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) with strong winds in the daytime, the flames have spread to at least six municipality areas, destroyed 5000 hectares of land and burnt down around 100 homes.
The department of Var is amongst the popular tourist route and camping sites on the French Riviera.
Authorities have closed several roads in the region for traffic and warned tourists to avoid commuting between Bormes-les-Mimosas and the Gulf of Saint-Tropez.
President Emmanuel Macron, who until last week was enjoying his annual vacation at Fort Bregancon in Var, and interior minister Gerald Darmanin are scheduled to visit the affected parts./aa