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600 firefighters battling to contain new wildfire in south of France

The Bouches-du-Rhône blaze is not yet under control but no homes are thought to be at risk

A photo of a Canadair water bomber with Sécurité Civile written on the side, dropping water over a wildfire

Water bomber planes have been used to help quell the flames in Bouches-du-Rhône Pic: Irma07 / Shutterstock

A wildfire declared in southern France yesterday is still not under control despite 600 firefighters attending the scene. However, it is evolving ‘favourably’ and no homes are currently threatened.

The blaze in the Alpilles massif, between Aureille and Eyguières, was declared at 16:00 on Monday, August 22.

More than 600 firefighter personnel and 200 engines have been deployed to tackle the flames, which have already destroyed at least 115 hectares of brushland and shrubs, the Bouches-du-Rhône fire service told France Bleu Provence.

Personnel from neighbouring departments have come to help the SDIS 13 emergency service, including those from Var, Vaucluse, and Hérault.

Eight Canadair and three Dash water bombers, plus several helicopter water bombers, are also assisting.

No homes are currently in danger and no one has yet needed to be evacuated. 

However, the flames are being worsened by “rather violent” winds of up to 90km/h, the fire service said. 

The area of the Alpilles massif was declared to be on red risk alert on August 22 because of the high Mistral winds and severe drought conditions.

The fire is the latest major incident to be declared, but is so far not as serious as other blazes in recent weeks. 

These include the major incident in Landiras (Gironde), which destroyed tens of thousands of hectares, and another in Aveyron that required 3,000 people to be evacuated.

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