At least 2700 people were evacuated due to a wildfire burning in a forest area near Martigues (Bouches-du-Rhone department; Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region), to the west of Marseille, on the night of Tuesday, August 4, to Wednesday, August 5. The fire broke out on Tuesday afternoon and spread rapidly due to strong winds, covering an area of over 1000 hectares (2471 acres). Around 1800 firefighters were mobilized to tackle the blaze and eight campsites in Martigues and Sausset-le-Pins were precautionarily evacuated, as was an elderly care home. Many of the evacuations were done by sea and the displaced were taken to gymnasiums and other rescue centers established by authorities. The fire was contained on Wednesday morning and an assessment of the damage caused by the fire was being undertaken. Meanwhile, a second fire broke out in the same area close to an industrial area on Wednesday, reportedly causing further damage.
A number of fires have been reported in the area in recent days and hot, dry, windy conditions are forecast through at least Monday, August 10. Further fires and associated disruptions and evacuations are possible in the coming days.
Those in the affected areas are advised to monitor developments, avoid the vicinity of the fires, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities, including evacuation orders.
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