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HomeNewsPyrenees wildfire contained but still dangerous – DW – 08/15/2023

Pyrenees wildfire contained but still dangerous – DW – 08/15/2023

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A fire that ravaged a 500-hectare (1,235 acres) area in the south of France has been brought under control, announced French regional authorities on Tuesday. 

More than 2,000 people were evacuated during the night from the Pyrenees-Orientales region near the Spanish border.

According to regional authorities, no residents or tourists were injured and evacuees have been able to return to their accommodation.

What did officials say?

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on X, formerly known as Twitter, the fire is now under control.

Senior regional official Rodrigue Furcy told local radio that the fire had been contained but remained dangerous. He said the worst affected area was “under close surveillance and firefighters were still battling the blaze.”

Furcy said 17 firefighters had sustained light injuries and one was admitted to a hospital after a fall but there had been no deaths reported.

What do we know about the fire?

The fire broke out on Monday afternoon and swept through hundreds of hectares of land near the villages of Saint-Andre, Sorede and the seaside resort of Argeles.

Thirty houses have been damaged, along with a warehouse and a campsite. Several roads were closed and the train service from Perpignan to the Spanish border was suspended for several hours.

Officials said the tourist area in the Pyrenees-Orientales region had been vulnerable due to “intense heat, dryness and strong winds.”

Bordering Spain, the Pyrenees-Orientales area has been affected worse than any other French region by devastating droughts.

ai/fb (Reuters, AFP)

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