Wildfires force French Riviera evacuation of thousands

Wildfires on the French Riviera forced the evacuation of about 12,000 people overnight, local police said.


The residents and tourists of Bormes-les-Momosas were moved Tuesday night about 25 miles to the city of Toulon after a new wildfire burned nearly 2,000 acres, French radio station RFI reported.

About 12 square miles of forest undergrowth in LaCroix-Valmer, near the St. Tropez resort, burned before authorities declared the fire contained, but LaCroix-Valmer deputy mayor Rene Caradante said said the blaze created “a disaster area,” before adding that “there’s nothing left.”

In the nearby village of Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume, 740 acres of pine and oak trees burned. Fires in Luberon destroyed nearly 2,000 acres, and those in Carros destroyed 20 acres before they were under control. Forty burning acres near the ancient city of Nimes forced the evacuation of about 20 residents.

CNN reported that at least 12 firefighters were injured and at least 15 police officers have been affected by smoke inhalation since Monday.

The fires across southern France come as summer holiday season starts across the country, with many people traveling to the Riviera, the shore of the Mediterranean Sea, for vacations.