Campsites on the Blue Coast, on the Mediterranean coast west of Marseille, were evacuated Tuesday evening, August 4, following a violent fire which has already devastated several hundred hectares of vegetation.
Vacationers from three campsites in the Couronne, a seaside district in the town of Martigues (Bouches-du-Rhône), were asked to regroup on the beach facing the progression of the fire, told the Agency France-press (AFP) the national police. Around 10 p.m., the emergency services rescued people who had taken refuge on the beach, “In the dark night”, said the spokesman of the police AFP.
The fire that broke out in the middle of the forest had already devastated 800 hectares of vegetation around 10 p.m. “Rapid progression”, insisted the firefighters. The fire traveled eight kilometers in two hours, said the Departmental Fire and Rescue Service (SDIS) of Bouches-du-Rhône on Twitter.
More than 1,200 firefighters were still fighting against the flames in this sector near the coastal towns of Carry-le-Rouet and Sausset-les-Pins, while the wind was not weakening, with squalls of up to 90 km / h. At the height of the intervention, the firefighters were reinforced by very significant air resources: seven Canadairs, two Dash, water bomber helicopters and Pelican civil security planes.
Three accommodation centers
The fire does not threaten industrial facilities in the Fos-sur-mer area, however, assured AFP Pierre Dartout, prefect of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, in the early evening. In the evening, the town hall of Martigues, which carried out the evacuation of a district, announced the opening of three centers to accommodate people leaving areas threatened by the flames.
Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, who had come to visit the firefighters in the area on Tuesday morning, announced on Twitter that he would go there “At the end of the evening or at night”.
Since the weekend, access to all the forest areas of Bouches-du-Rhône has been prohibited due to strong winds and high temperatures which increase the risk of fires. Between 2015 and 2019, 9,300 ha of forest burned on average each year in the departments of the Mediterranean coast.