Several fires were raging Tuesday evening near Marseille, one of which, fueled by strong winds, ravaged nearly 300 hectares of vegetation in a coastal area of Martigues, AFP learned from the authorities. This last fire broke out in the middle of the afternoon to the south-west of Martigues, on the edge of Carry-le-Rouet and Sausset-les-Pins, in the middle of the forest.
Holidaymakers grouped together on the beach
Holidaymakers from three campsites in La Couronne, a seaside district in the town of Martigues, in the Bouches-du-Rhône, were asked to regroup on the beach facing the progression of the fire, told the AFP the national police.
An AFP journalist at La Couronne by the sea saw huge plumes of black smoke and flames along the roadside as well as Canadair water bomber planes in action. The fire that broke out in the middle of the forest had already devastated 500 hectares of vegetation around 8 p.m., firefighters told AFP.
Three open reception centers
More than 1,000 firefighters, supported by seven Canadair planes, are fighting against the flames in this sector to the south-west of Martigues, on the edge of the seaside towns of Carry-le-Rouet and Sausset-les-Pins. "For the moment, the fire which is the most worrying to my knowledge does not threaten industrial installations", indicated to AFP Pierre Dartout, prefect of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, referring to the industrial zone -port of Fos-sur-Mer, near which another fire had started. This fire is now stabilized.
In the evening, the town hall of Martigues, which carried out the evacuation of a district, announced the opening of three centers to welcome people leaving districts threatened by the flames. Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, who came to visit the firefighters in the area Tuesday morning, announced on Twitter that he would go there "at the end of the evening or at night".