Event Report

Base data

Event code FR-FOR/01515/FRA
Main category Fire
Sub category forest fire
Event date (UTC) Wed, 05 Aug 2020 10:12:17 +0000
Last update (UTC) Wed, 05 Aug 2020 11:56:51 +0000


Continent Europe
Country France
Administration area Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
Settlement Martigues
Exact location
Open Location Code: 8FM793H7+MW
Size of affected area County-level
Additional events None or not detected.

Common Alerting Protocol Information

Urgency Past
Certainty Observed
Severity Extreme
Category Fire

Event details

A forest fire Tuesday 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. "We are braced for a difficult fight throughout the night," said a spokesman for the firefighting service in the Bouches du Rhone department. The fire broke out in the afternoon, sending out plumes of black smoke. It crossed eight kilometers in two hours, fanned by strong winds, the firefighting service said. Seven water-dumping planes and a number of helicopters and other aircraft were deployed to back up 1,200 firefighters, officials said. "We were in Martigues for shopping but now we cannot enter our home in La Couronne. All the roads have been cut off and the fire's burning everywhere," said Mylene Greffeuille. "We're very worried because my father is old and he is La Couronne," near the fire, she said. Part of a highway from Marseille to Martigues has been closed.

Situation update

Fires fueled by strong Mediterranean winds have raced across multiple towns in the Marseille region of France, leaving at least 22 people injured, destroying several businesses, and forcing the evacuation of 2,700 tourists, nursing home residents, and others. Some 1,800 firefighters, backed by planes and helicopters, battled the worst fire through the night around the town of Martigues. They were still working Wednesday to extinguish it more than 14 hours after it broke out Tuesday, according to the local fire service. Its flames spread quickly from a wooded area toward the sea, eight kilometers (five miles) away, sweeping through residential areas and multiple campgrounds. Firefighters rushed to evacuate campers via land and sea. The cause of the fires is not known. Eight civilians and 14 firefighters suffered minor injuries in the Martigues blaze and five others that erupted in the area Tuesday, the fire service said. The other fires were brought under control in the towns of Port-de-Bouc, Aubagne-Carnoux, Gignac-la-Nerthe, and Fontvieille. Given continued winds Wednesday morning and dry and hot weather across France, authorities have banned any controlled fires in the area or construction work involving sparks or hot equipment until the fires are extinguished. Interior Minister Gerard Darmanin rushed to the site overnight, and firefighting teams were sent in from other regions to help.


Number of dead: 0 person(s)
Number of injured: 22 person(s)
Number of Affected: 0 person(s)
Number of Rescued/evacuated: 2700 person(s)
Number of Missing: 0 person(s)
Number of Infected: 0 person(s)

Event Specific Details

[Fire - forest fire]

Overview map

Risk Analisys

Nearest marine ports Port-de-bouc (6.98 km), Fos (15.24 km), Port Saint Louis Du Rhone (20.06 km), Marseille (25.38 km)
Nearest airports Marseille Provence Airport (14.30 km), Istres Le Tubé/Istres Air Base (BA 125) Airport (19.60 km), Salon-de-Provence (BA 701) Air Base (25.51 km)
Nearest nuclear power plant There is no known nuclear power plant nearby.

Country Information