22 September 2020,   05:48
Forest fire near Marseille forces hundreds of evacuations

A forest fire ravaged 800 hectares of vegetation near the southern French city of Marseille, forcing the evacuation of over 200 people, officials said.

There were no casualties thus far from the blaze that broke out west of Marseille, as 1 200 firefighters and water bombing planes were deployed to fight the flames.

Some 225 people, mostly tourists and campers, were evacuated by boat to a nearby fishing village and then taken by bus to makeshift shelters in the town of Martigues. The fire broke out in the afternoon, sending out plumes of black smoke. It crossed eight kilometres in two hours, fanned by strong winds.