Thousands evacuated from French Riviera due to a big wildfire


A wildfire near the French Riviera which ignited during an intense heatwave remained out of control Wednesday as over 1,100 firefighters battled flames fueled by wind and drought in the forests of the popular tourist region for three days. One person was killed and other 27, including five firefighters, have suffered smoke inhalation or minor injuries from the blaze. Thousands evacuated from homes and campgrounds in temporary shelters in town halls, colleges and gyms. Many were given only minutes to leave. Local authorities supplied food and water. Southern France is the latest area in Europe to be ravaged by wildfires this summer.The fire started Monday evening about 40 kilometers (24 miles) inland from the coastal resort of Saint-Tropez and was fueled by powerful seasonal winds coming off the Mediterranean Sea. Hundreds of firefighters were deployed in the Var region to the west of Saint-Tropez. Firefighting aircraft dumped water to help douse the flames.


French President Emmanuel Macron, who has been vacationing in a nearby coastal fortress, visited the fire zone on Tuesday. Other European countries had a similar experience this summer: Greece, Turkey, Italy, Albania, Algeria and Spain. Scientists say that climate change from the burning of coal, oil and natural gas is driving extreme events such as heat waves, droughts and wildfires. Such extreme weather is expected happen more frequently as the planet is warming.