Wildfire under control, say firefighters

Firefighters have brought a wildfire near Aix-en-Provence under control

But 18 popular walking areas in Bouches-du-Rhône are closed to the public as high winds and tinder-dry conditions means fire threat remains high

A wildfire that threatened homes in a small Bouches-du-Rhône town is under control, firefighters have said.

More than 800 firefighters and 210 appliances have been involved in fighting the blaze, which destroyed 750 hectares of land near Saint Cannat, not far from Aix-en-Provence.

Officials said that all local and national fire services were mobilised, and reinforcements from the Rhône-Alpes, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Alpes-Maritimes, Drôme and Hautes-Alpes were called in.

Although the fire is now under control, damping down will take some time, officials said on Twitter.

The flames were close to the TGV line between Paris and Marseille, prompting SNCF officials to delay services. Authorities were also concerned about the safety of motorists using the nearby A8.

Investigators are now working to establish the cause of the fire, which started close to the motorway.

On Saturday evening, 200 firefighters, two Canadair and a helicopter put out another wildfire that had broken out in the town of Port-de-Bouc, near Fos-sur-Mer. 

The prefecture of Bouches-du-Rhône has banned public access to 18 popular walking areas due to the fire-friendly high winds and tinder-dry conditions.

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