Thursday, July 27, 2017

Wildfires under control in France, but danger persists

tourists on the Cote d'Azur
Huge fires that forced mass evacuations of residents and tourists in southern France are "under control", although firefighters have warned new blazes are still starting.

In the village of Bormes-les-Mimosas, located near beaches popular with tourists on the Cote d'Azur, "the fire is not completely under control but we are winning the fight," said Lieutenant-Colonel Michael Bernier, the civil security officer leading the emergency effort there.

"Things are going in the right direction but new fires are starting caused by gusts of wind," he said.

In the neighbouring Bouches-du-Rhone region, three major fires that have burned thousands of square kilometres were also tamed or being dampened down, firefighters told AFP.

But authorities were on high alert, fearing that new blazes could start in the hot, dry conditions, fanned by the strong Mistral wind.

"In such dry conditions, we really fear that fires could start again," one firefighter said.

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