Wildfires: French locals help evacuated holidaymakers

Wildfires: French locals help evacuated holidaymakers
Tourists leave the beach with their belongings in in Bormes-les-Mimosas. Photo: AFP
A series of fierce wildfires in southern France has led to the evacuation of thousands of people, many of them holidaymakers in the region.

The 12,000 people who had to leave their homes or hotels due to the Bormes-les-Mimosas fire were on Thursday preparing for their second night in makeshift reception centres.

But the locals have shown solidarity and helped them to feel at home.

France's Civil Security Department set up six centres in the area, complete with camp beds, food, water and hygiene products.

And local residents donated further items such as soap, towels, toothbrushes and spare clothes. Many families have even offered to welcome evacuees into their homes. A local pizzeria sent a pizza delivery for the affected families and volunteers at one of the centres, and psychological support is also being offered to those affected by the blaze.

Photo: AFP

A journalist from local paper Nice Matin, Damien Allemand, set up a support group on Facebook for those affected by the fires, which by Thursday had surpassed 5,000 members.

The page has been filled with offers of support, from spare rooms, food, children's toys or just someone to talk to, while volunteers at the centre shared requests of items which were needed.

British actress Joan Collins was among those visiting the region when the fire took hold, as was the Grand Duke of Luxembourg. Both were rehoused with assistance from French authorities.