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Arson suspected as fire in southeast France brought under control
by Staff Writers
Marseille (AFP) Sept 3, 2017

New forest fire rages in southeastern France
Marseille (AFP) Sept 3, 2017 - A forest fire broke out in southeastern France, destroying more than 400 hectares near urban areas, damaging two houses and forcing the evacuation of a camping site, the fire department and local authorities said Sunday.

"The fire is very violent, very virulent," a local official in Var, Emmanuel Cayron, told AFP from the crisis centre which has been activated.

Some 430 hectares had been burned and two homes were ravaged, a spokeswoman for the local prefecture said. And 165 people were evacuated from a camping site.

The fire broke out in Hyeres around 10pm Saturday (2000 GMT), a day which was considered high risk due to dry weather and strong wind, according to a fire department spokesman.

Several roads, as well as a high-voltage power supply, have been cut off at the request of the fire department.

About 450 firefighters were battling the flames on Sunday. The fire department has requested reinforcements from neighbouring districts.

"The fire is huge, it's impressive. We can see the flames on the ridge line of the hills, and the blue lights of the firefighters," said Daniele, a resident of Hyeres.

This summer has seen blazes across southern France, which is experiencing a particularly hot and dry summer.

A forest fire in southesastern France that destroyed about 460 acres near urban areas was brought under control on Sunday, authorities said, adding that an investigation had been opened into suspected arson.

Two homes were destroyed in the fire that broke out in two areas on Saturday night near Hyeres, and hundreds of people were evacuated from the area.

"Fires don't just break out like that, especially when we're talking about two fires on a night of Mistral winds, a half-hour apart," said Francois de Canson, the mayor of La-Londe-les-Maures.

The state prosecutor in nearby Toulon, Bernard Marchal, said it had opened an investigation.

"The fire services suspect human origins," he told AFP, adding that one of the fires broke out right at the side of a road.

About 450 firefighters were battling the flames on Sunday, and reinforcements were requested from neighbouring districts.

Several roads, as well as a high-voltage power line, were also cut off at the request of the fire department.

"I was in bed when my son called to tell me to get up, there was a fire coming near," said Jean-Pierre, a retiree who lives near La Londe.

"I hosed down the house, and the police came but I refused to evacuate. The fire fighters arrived just in time, they saved my house and my chickens."

But up the hill, one of his neighbours was not so lucky: his house was consumed by the flames.

This summer has seen blazes across southern France, which is experiencing a particularly hot and dry season.

State of emergency extended in western Canada over wildfires
Montreal (AFP) Sept 1, 2017
A state of emergency was extended Friday in Canada's western province of British Columbia, where thousands of firefighters have been battling wildfires for months. The announcement marks the fourth time the state of emergency has been renewed in the province since it was issued on July 7. The order allows for the mobilization of firefighting resources and the mandatory evacuation of citi ... read more

Related Links
Forest and Wild Fires - News, Science and Technology

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