Severe fire risk in southern France as sun returns

Five forest areas in the Var département of southeastern France have been put on high alert due to risks of forest fires.

Severe fire risk in southern France as sun returns
Firefighters in southern France earlier this month. Photo: AFP

As the temperature soars all over France this week, the Var département is on high alert because of its vulnerability to forest fires.

Severe droughts and strong winds have increased the risk of forest fires throughout the region, with five mountain ridges in the Var particularly at risk, the département’s prefecture warned on Sunday.

The prefecture issued a warning against accessing the following high-risk areas: the massif de la Sainte-Baume, the massif des Maures, the Monts toulonnais, the Corniche des Maures and the Iles d’Hyères.

Using vehicles off public roads is also prohibited, as well as smoking, lighting cigarettes and camping.

These warnings come as other regions of France have recently been ravaged by wildfires.

Last week, a campsite in Oléron, off the western coast of France was hit by a fire that spread across 500 metres of the tourist island, injuring five people. Marseille, in southern France, was also hit by wildfires that burned some 3,300 of forest earlier in August. 

IN PICTURES: Wildfires ravage south of FranceA blaze near Marseille earlier this month. Photo: AFP

On Monday morning, the government issued more general advice on staying safe in the heat, including drinking plenty of water and looking after elderly and vulnerable people.

However, the return of the sun will be positive news for many, with temperatures set to remain high throughout the entire week and barely a cloud in sight, particularly at the start of the week.

Meteo France predicted sunshine and temperatures between the high 20's and mid 30's across most of the country, and even as high as 38C in some areas of Poitou-Charentes and Aquitane.

The site said the sun would be “dominant”, and only high altitude areas at the tip of Brittany risked cloudy weather during the week, though the weekend could bring thunderstorms to the north and west of the country.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.