Several fires are raging this Tuesday evening near Marseille. Fanned by strong winds, one ravaged nearly 500 hectares of vegetation in a coastal area of Martigues, the authorities said.
This last fire broke out in the middle of the afternoon to the south-west of Martigues, in the Bouches-du-Rhône, on the edge of Carry-le-Rouet and Sausset-les-Pins, in the middle of the forest.
More than 100 # Pompiers13 with 30 vehicles intervened in #Martigues, Gacharelle sector for a #FeuxDeForet departure with an urban interface.
Avoid the area. pic.twitter.com/LZzvhM1i9x
"It is a pine forest, there is no house for the moment threatened but it is necessary to avoid, given the wind, that (the fire) slides towards more tourist areas", indicated the prefect of Pierre region. Dartout. "For the moment, the fire which is the most worrying to my knowledge does not threaten industrial installations", he added, referring to the industrial-port zone of Fos-sur-Mer, near which another fire had triggered.
Campsites on the Blue Coast, on the edge of Martigues, are being evacuated. Holidaymakers from three campsites in the Couronne, a seaside district in the town of Martigues, were asked to regroup on the beach facing the progression of the fire, national police said.
In the evening, the town hall of Martigues, which carried out the evacuation of a district, announced the opening of three centers to welcome people leaving districts threatened by the flames.
Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, who had come to visit the firefighters in the area on Tuesday morning, announced on Twitter that he would go there "at the end of the evening or at night, depending on the evolution of the situation. "
I will go there at the end of the evening or at night, depending on the evolution of the situation.
Follow the instructions of @ Prefet13.
Support for our mobilized firefighters. https://t.co/4HAyoC5YKH
More than 1000 firefighters mobilized
"The fire is currently at the D9, the Côte Bleue expressway and is heading towards Sausset", another seaside resort, added the town hall in a press release. The roads of Saint-Pierre, Sausset and La Couronne Carro are closed.
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From 6 p.m., a portion of the A 55 motorway between Marseille and Martigues was cut. Traffic is very difficult on the N568. Huge plumes of black smoke and roadside flames were visible. More than 1,000 firefighters were deployed on site Tuesday evening. They received reinforcements from water bombers to protect homes and also nearby industrial sites, in the Berre pond area.
Emilie and Caroline were returning from Sainte-Croix beach in Martigues to their hotel in the city center. “We saw a huge cloud of smoke. We stopped on the side of the road, we saw flames and a dozen canadairs spilling water, ”describes Emilie, 24, educator of young children, joined by the Parisian. The two young women managed to return, but in three hours, against twenty minutes in normal times.
Since the weekend, access to all the forest areas of Bouches-du-Rhône has been prohibited due to the strong winds and high temperatures which increase the risk of fires. Between 2015 and 2019, 9,300 hectares of forest burned on average each year in the departments of the Mediterranean coast.