The forest fires that have been raging in France and Greece for several days have not yet been under control. The weather conditions in France have improved; the wind has gone down slightly. But in the Var region, 7,000 hectares of forest are still burning. Most of that area, near Saint-Tropez on the Côte dAzur, has been laid in ashes.
Seven thousand people have been evacuated in France since Monday night. At least two people killed by the fire in Grimaud.
“The ashes came everywhere”
The Dutch Astrid Pompen is on holiday with her husband and two children at Le Plan-de-la-Tour, a place close to the forest fires. “It started Monday night, it got very dark. At first we thought it was thunderstorm and went to sleep”, says Pumps in HetCCEIT Radio 1 Journal. “The next day we saw big puffs everywhere, so it wasnt quite right anyway.”
The village seven kilometres away from their holiday home was evacuated. “The fire went very fast, we got anxious. Were in a stone house, but surrounded by forest areas. We have all over the internet and found a call from the mayor to evacuate the area to the left of us. But we didnt know if that was true for us.”
Pumps planned to stay in the rented house on Tuesday night first. “But the smoke got so fat, even in our cottage. And the ashes came everywhere. So we found it no longer responsible to sleep there. We drove the kids to the coast.” After a vain search for a place to sleep, the man van Pompen found a message on Twitter with the location of shelters. “It was a kind of gym. Thats where we drove.”
Fires are raging in Greece too.
Forest fires are raging in Greece too. A fire in Vilia, 60 kilometres west of Athens, has destroyed thousands of hectares of forest over the past four days. Several villages in the area have been evacuated.
Poland has sent fire brigade troops to the area to help Greece. Later today, a strong wind is predicted that can interfere with work.
In Athens, hundreds of firefighters fight the fire:
Two Dutch fire helicopters stay a little longer in Albania, where forest fires are raging. The Netherlands sent the helicopters to the country two weeks ago. They were supposed to return on Saturday, but will stay a week longer now.