in the Var, 600 hectares of a military camp go up in smoke

A fire caused by artillery fire at a major French army training camp in the Var burned around 600 hectares of vegetation on Saturday, but was close to being fixed, the authorities told AFP. firefighters and the prefecture.

“It is an area which is a vegetated desert, there is no threat for anyone, apart from the 2,500 sheep which graze in this area and which have been sheltered”, had specified in the afternoon Captain Olivier Pécot of the Var firefighters.

06/18: #fire #forest #Canjuers #var
A fire is in progress in the perimeter of the military camp. The smoke is visible for several kilometers.
Help is on site and reinforcements are in transit.
Don’t saturate the emergency call lines 📞 18/112. pic.twitter.com/ZexirWFi78
– VAR Firefighters (@SDIS83) June 18, 2022

“The fire remained inside the camp, the firefighters are reassuring,” said the duty sub-prefect Eric de Wispelaere in the evening. “The military camp is dozens of kilometers from inhabited areas,” he said. To the north, the Verdon canyon constitutes a natural barrier that can stop the flames.

The fire split in two, with a tongue of fire towards the Lac de Sainte-Croix in the town of Aiguines and the other north-east of Canjuers, and “it is almost fixed”, added the sub-prefect.

“Unexposed shells and explosives”

The largest camp in Western Europe, the Canjuers military complex is “essential for the operational preparation of French forces” and extends its 35,000 hectares over the high plateaus of northern Var, according to the Ministry of the Armed Forces.

The fire progressed in an area “polluted, that is to say where there are shells and unexploded explosives and where for security reasons the firefighters cannot enter”, specified Captain Pécot. “We had to wait for him to get out of this firing zone to be able to intervene,” added Mr. de Wispelaere.

Some 300 civilian and military firefighters were hired to put out the fire which broke out around 9:00 a.m. Several water bomber planes were also deployed.

A heat wave has been affecting southern Europe for several days. If several French departments are in red vigilance, the Var is not affected by this state of vigilance. However, several areas of the department are suffering from drought.

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