VIDEO / GRAPHICS – Several areas of Vitrolles, north of Marseille, were evacuated. The A7, A8 and A55 were cut. At least 2700 hectares have already gone up in smoke. Two people were injured.
● “Situation out of control” in Vitrolles Rognac and Pennes-Mirabeau
firefighters face since Wednesday afternoon to three simultaneous outbreaks of fire in the area. The fire involving the common Rognac, Vitrolles and Pennes Mirabeau, north of Marseille, is “out of control”, said Wednesday night the firefighters of the Rhone delta in a statement. “Situation out of control, fire extremely powerful, fast, explosive that continues to burn everything in its path, even houses”, said the firefighters in this press release, adding that firefighters Bouches-du-Rhône not complained of injuries in their ranks.
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Faced with the threat, the town of Vitrolles, thirty kilometers from Marseille, announced that the evacuations were ongoing Wednesday night. In total, four districts have been evacuated since the beginning of the afternoon. Earlier, children stay in a summer camp were also evacuated, directed at several gyms in the locality. Many houses were burned. The town hall estimated the number of evacuees to “over a thousand” to gyms and three from five districts.
“The fire continues to evolve to Pennes-Mirabeau and Marseille. Many homes are in the axis. (…) The situation is now unfavorable “, said the firefighters Bouches-du-Rhône.
Rognac, the situation remains very worrying all night because of a strong mistral. Further south, the Pennes-Mirabeau, the local mayor said that “the fire returned to the village,” and many people were evacuated, and the flames dangerously close to the northern Marseille. However, the prefecture assured early evening to Le Figaro that the city was not threatened by the advancing flames. A crisis unit has been set up.
For now, at least 2,700 hectares of scrubland, with short grass and few wooded areas went up in smoke in this area, and a house of twenty were burned. The interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, who went to the command post set up at the Aix TGV station, referred to a “particularly difficult” situation: “Our goal now is to contain the fire to prevent they earn the city of Marseille, “he added. “We deplore that two injured, one seriously, with burns on Rognac and light on the Pennes Mirabeau”, said the firefighters who have no injuries in their ranks.
● Transportation disturbed
Due to the progression of fires, national roads 568 and 268 were cut, and the county 9 where fire “jumped” the road that was cut. The A7 motorway was also closed at the Pennes-Mirabeau, where several neighborhoods were evacuated Wednesday evening because of the advancing flames. The city is covered with a thick black cloud of smoke and ash, and was totally cut off from traffic. Twenty fire trucks on site. The A8 has also been cut back and forth between Coudoux and Aix-en-Provence, but was partially reopened in the direction of Orange. The A55 towards Lyon from Marseille is also cut off.
As for the rails, “the train traffic is not affected at this time,” said in a statement the capital of the Bouches-du-Rhône little before 20 hours. “The access to the commercial area of Campaign Plan are closed from the A51 and from the A7″ and two high-voltage lines have been cut, without consequences for the population, said the prefecture.
For 17 hours, the commercial flights to Marseille-Provence airport no longer land to enable maneuvering of resources mobilized for air support. The takeoff of these commercial flights is however still possible.
● Industrial zones threatened to Fos-sur-Mer
In the early afternoon, a fire in the Dimple sector has a time threatened an area of activity. “Fanned by strong winds, the fire threat (…) more sensitive areas including the area Feuillanne” an industrial area of Fos-sur-Mer, had specified the firefighters. The fires are now under control in this area.
According to La Provence , the fire entered the compound including the European Southern Pipeline Corporation (EDS) in Fos-sur-Mer. Relief is now harnessed to protect oil tankers from the site. The industrial area of Tonkin is also in flames. In total, the three fires in the industrial area ravaged nearly 300 hectares. Most businesses were evacuated, “said firefighters.
● Fire controlled in Istres and Coudroux
A new start fire was listed in Istres around 18:30. 250 people were evacuated from a camp in the city, but the fire is now under control.
Around 20 hours, a new starting fire was declared in Coudoux, west of Aix-en-Provence, near the highway. It is now under control.
At present, nearly 200 people are stuck in the train station of Aix-en-Provence.
● Four firefighters injured in the Herault
in the Hérault, a violent fire destroyed Wednesday 250 hectares of scrubland near the village of Gabian, 20 kilometers north of Béziers, as CODIS Herault. Four firefighters were burned during the intervention, including three in serious condition. The Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, wished on Twitter a “speedy recovery” for wounded soldiers fire, and praised the efforts firefighters.
The interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, visited on site around 19:30. “On the whole Mediterranean coast, we had several forest fires in the Gard, Hérault and Bouches-du-Rhône”, said he was at a brief media. “The situation was made difficult because of the weather, with strong winds and a drought that lasted several weeks,” the minister said. The tenant of the place Beauvau, however, announced that the fires were “under control”.
● 1,800 firefighters mobilized in the south of France
In the Bouches-du-Rhône, 1,500 firefighters were on site. In addition, three Canadair were in action and two were expected from Corsica. 400 police officers and gendarmes were also mobilized, said the interior minister who also announced the imminent arrival of 20 columns from all over France.
In the Hérault, some 300 men were committed to the ground in the fight against the flames fanned by winds gusting up to 70 km / h. The fires were contained by early evening.