Forest / Wild Fire in France on July 25 2017 03:18 AM (UTC).
Summer wildfires have forced the evacuation of about 12,000 residents and vacationers in southern France this week as officials scramble to arrange temporary housing across the Côte d'Azur region. More than 4,000 firefighters have mobilized to fight the "apocalyptic" flames, which are visible from many beachside resorts. "The sky was all red," one vacationing evacuee told France's Le Monde. "It was a huge blaze with enormous flames spreading everywhere." Wildfires are also burning in nearby Corsica, Portugal, Italy, and Albania.
Parts of the French Riviera were evacuated late Tuesday and into Wednesday as forest fires burned swathes of land and threatened thousands of people, according to a statement from the Var police. Around 10,000 people were moved from the coastal commune of Bormes-les-Mimosas, which is around 40 km (nearly 25 miles) from the town of Toulon, one of the country's southernmost towns. As part of the over 100 operations launched since the outbreak of the fires, firefighting planes have been flying over the Bormes area since early Wednesday morning, dropping water bombs on the blazes. Late July and August are when many French residents head out "on holiday," and visit the Riviera (or the Cote d'Azur, as the Riviera is called in French). In the nearby area of Londes-les-Maures, fires began to burn just before 11 p.m. local time and, despite the dispatch of 540 firefighters, have not yet been brought under control. The areas of Croix-Valmer, south of the famed resort of St. Tropez, and Artigues east of the regional hub of Aix-en-Provence, saw hundreds of hectares -- around 12 square miles -- of land burned but those blazes are under control, the statement says. A total of nine firefighters across those two fires were injured.