Highest forest fire warning for parts of southern France

It comes amid a forecast of warm temperatures and high winds for the region

France is hoping to prevent a repeat of last year’s wildfire catastrophes
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Several departments in southern France are on alert over the risk of forest fires.

The warning was issued amid forecasts of warm temperatures and strong winds in the region.

Three departments - Var, Vaucluse and Bouches-du-Rhône were on a tier-three orange alert on Thursday (August 3).

On Friday (August 4), Bouches-du-Rhône is on a tier-four red alert – the highest level possible. Var, Vaucluse and Hérault are on a tier-three warning, while 14 other departments are on a lower tier-two yellow alert.

Picture credit: Météo France

Picture credit: Météo France

It comes after a number of wildfires recently in the south of France, including one next to a motorway and train tracks near Nice that caused hours of delays.

Earlier this week 500 people were evacuated in the Var after a forest fire in Six-Fours-les-Plages, near Toulon.

France seeks to avoid a repeat of last year's fire damage

Alongside the forest fire risk forecast, France has introduced a number of initiatives to prevent a repeat of last year’s devastating fires, when more than 70,000 hectares of land were destroyed.

Read also: How does France's new wildfire risk forecast work? Where can I see it?

Increased penalties for activities that could cause wildfires have been passed, and – as we reported last week – France’s arsenal for combatting forest fires has been boosted.

There are also more firefighters on the ground combatting the blazes, with seven extra firefighter units compared to last year.

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