A “raging” fire that resumed on Saturday in Mostuéjouls, near the southern French city of Aveyron after seemingly coming under control has prompted the preventive evacuation of at least 1,000 people, according to the Aveyron prefecture.
The fire, which broke out on Monday, has destroyed more than 800 hectares between Aveyron and Lozère. At around noon on Saturday, it seemed “in the process of being circumscribed and soon, extinguished,” the prefecture said at the time.
However, on Saturday evening, its assessment was completely different: “The fire is evolving unfavorably,” the prefecture reported in a press release. “Tens of additional hectares have been burnt” and “six hamlets have been evacuated,” representing “nearly 1,000 more people,” it said.
Since Monday, up to 3,000 persons had already been evacuated as a result of the fire – which did not cause any injuries. The evacuees had since been authorised to return to their homes or, in the case of vacationers, their places of lodging.
On Wednesday, a Lozère resident was charged with “involuntary destruction by fire.” He is believed to have accidentally started the fire when a metal part of his trailer caused sparks as it scraped the ground, setting fire to the vegetation on the side of the road.
Meanwhile, to avoid any further risk of fire, the prefecture of Aveyron has temporarily banned sporting events in nature places, pyrotechnic shows or “any hunting or activity entailing destruction by firearms in the midst of nature.”