Photo - twitter screen capture.
The fire-fighting Canadair planes may be impressive to watch as they swooped into the Saint-Raphael and Frejus bay yesterday to scoop up water from the sea, but they unfortunately indicate the presence of fires in the local area.
A few fires broke out in the Var department yesterday. One of them began in Saint-Aygulf by the Villepey lagoon around lunch time and forced the temporary closure of the seaside road that links Frejus to St Aygulf. The fire was quickly under control and the road re-opened.
Another more serious fire started on the RD4 road between Frejus and Bagnols-en-Foret. This one burned from 2PM until around 6PM ravaging around 20 hectares of dry land. Despite very strong winds and dried vegetation, over 200 firefighters soon had the fire under control. It caused no human physical harm, but destroyed a number of mobil-homes in both Pin de la Legue and at Holiday Green.
Over 5000 holiday-makers were evacuated at Pin de la Legue and 3000 at Holiday Green. Most have now returned. No one has been harmed, though clearly some were shocked at how quickly this all happened.
According to firefighters, the vast majority of fires are man-started (cigarette butt flicked carelessly, BBQ when forbidden, etc ). The dry sunny terrain and winds quickly pick it up from there.
Take a look at our quick video of the Canadairs in action yesterday in the Saint-Raphael bay, French Riviera: