Air and highway traffic was returning to normal in the Marseille region Thursday as a massive fire north of France’s third-largest urban area lost some intensity.
“The fire is under control but lots of work is left to do,” said Frederic Lelievre, a colonel in the Ile-de-France fire brigade who was sent to the region. “With the wind, there is always a risk.”
More than 2,500 hectares of scrub land have burned but the fire is no longer progressing, he said. Another 800 hectares burned at the nearby port of Fos-sur-Mer. More than 1,000 people have been evacuated and no deaths have been reported, BFM TV reported.
Marseille airport reopened last night though it continued to warn on its website that flights could be disrupted Thursday and that road access to the airport is difficult. The website showed just one flight to Munich canceled and several flights delayed.
The A8 highway that connects the south-east of France to the rest of the country was open after having been closed last night. The last stretch of the A7 highway into Marseille remained closed Thursday morning.
Interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve last night visited the region, where 1,800 firemen from around the country are involved in battling the flames. The region hasn’t seen rain in several weeks and the wind Wednesday blew at up to 100 kilometers an hour. Dry hot weather is forecast into next week, though with weaker winds.
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