Leaving at the end of the day Monday from Massegros, in Lozère, the fire, started by an agricultural machine, then spread to Mostuéjouls, in Aveyron, noted an AFP correspondent.
People were evacuated as a precaution from the villages of Rivière-sur-Tarn and Mostuéjouls, and from campsites.
“The flames were a few hundred meters away, the gendarmes and the firefighters came to tell us to evacuate, we all had to leave in the middle of the night”, testifies Gabin Castro, manager of guest rooms, worried about his accommodation, treehouses.
The fire started on the Sauveterre plateau because of an agricultural machine whose metallic element scraped the very hot tar of the road, causing sparks. In a context of great drought, part of a departmental road near Massegros, 60 kilometers east of Rodez, caught fire, according to firefighters.
The surface covered, from 50 hectares at 5.30 p.m., had rapidly increased to 400 hectares around 11 p.m.
More than 600 firefighters from several departments (Aveyron, Lozère, Gard, Hérault, Bouches-du-Rhône, Var, Aude, Alpes-maritimes, Tarn, Ariège, Haute-Garonne) were mobilized Tuesday morning, according to the prefecture of the Aveyron.
On June 18 and 19, 35 km from Mostuéjouls, a fire in Comprégnac (Aveyron) had covered 430 hectares of forest, without causing any victims. Dozens of people had been evacuated as a precaution.
With already more than 47,000 hectares burned since the beginning of the year, France experienced a record number of burned areas in July, according to the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS), which has kept comparable statistics since 2006. .