Forest Fires in Southeast France

Forest Fire

Corsica and regions of southeastern France are on the brink of recovering from dangerous blazes that scorched thousands of hectacres. For now, reports indicate the fires have slowed and most have been contained, with the exception of those burning in Corsica.

Earlier this week, help arrived in the form of 10 Canadair water bombers. While the planes dropped water from the sky, 2,000 firefighters battled the fires on the ground. An additional 22 aircraft were also employed to fight the fires. France requested assistance from the European Union in securing two "Air Canada planes."

As the firefighting response escalated, the fires in Carras, Nimes and Bastidon were contained. Still vegetation is destroyed and air quality is poor. North of Nice, in the town of Carros, 90 hectacres were damaged. A home, vehicles and a warehouse were also destroyed. There are no reports of fatalities but, to date, 20 firefighters have suffered injuries while 15 police officers have been affected by smoke inhalation.

Fabienne Atzori, the prosecutor of Grasse, told news outlets that the fires were not started by human activities.

Resort areas along the French Riviera, most notably Saint-Tropez, were in the fire's path, resulting in the evacuation of tourists and residents. Corsica, home to many coastal resorts is also experiencing fire damage and evacuations, but has not yet seen the relief experienced by towns in southern France.

Currently fires still rages in Corsica, with areas near Bastia being the most affected. The town of Biguglia, on Corsica's northeast coast, was evacuated. The fire fighting personnel are waiting for more help to arrive. Deputy Fire Chief Jean-Jacques Peraldi told reporters that 150 people were fighting the fire with the help of roughly one dozen fire engines. This fire comes on the heels of a fire that threatened homes in Aleria, in southern Corsica on Monday.

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