In Opoul, in the north of the Pyrénées-Orientales, a fire ravaged more than 1000 ha in a few hours.
The fire broke out on Tuesday June 28 around noon.
Still not under control last night, the neighboring town of Salses-le-Château is now threatened.
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More than 400 firefighters were mobilized on Tuesday, supported by eight water bomber planes.
Pascal Sarda, the mayor of Opoul, spoke on Tuesday evening at the microphone of France Bleu Roussillon.
The fire is "
probably of criminal origin
" he believes, specifying that the fire broke out in an area "
sheltered from view
The ground, brushy and dry, was favorable to the spread of the flames, pushed towards Salses and the fortress by the tramontane.
Evacuation and power cut
Faced with the urgency of the situation, more than 122 people were evacuated in the evening from the Bois des pins campsite as well as from a residence in Salses-le-Château.
For the moment, they are hosted by the town hall in a multipurpose room.
Tuesday evening, the Opoul sector was without electricity.
Water cuts were frequent and the telephone network barely worked.
Farms were more affected, equipment was destroyed, and sometimes even vines because of the heat of the fire.
A Seveso-classified explosives site close to the village was spared, however, the flames did not reach it.
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The A9 is cut between Rivesaltes and Leucate and the D900 was reopened Tuesday evening around 9 p.m., with very congested traffic.
Access routes from the north of the department are limited.
No train from or towards Narbonne was in operation last night.
The department's firefighters faced multiple fire starts on Tuesday, June 28.
Several have been identified in Rivesaltes, Corneilla-la-Rivière (a few thousand m²), Pollestres, Barcares, Cases-de-Pène and Toulouse.