A fire swept across large areas of forest near Nice and Cannes on France's Cote d'Azur over the weekend (15-16 December).
GV PAN Fire in woods
GROUND TO AIR PAN Aircraft flying over
SV PAN Fire truck passes
GV Firefighters at work
GV Smoke in trees
SV Firefighters walking through bushes (2 shots)
GV Aircraft fly overhead (2 shots)
GVs Smoke over forest (3 shots)
Initials BB/2330 AS/RH/BB/2347
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Background: A fire swept across large areas of forest near Nice and Cannes on France's Cote d'Azur over the weekend (15-16 December). The fire broke out on Saturday (15 december) and was fanned by the Mistral, a cold north-easterly wind, but it was under control by Sunday (16 December).
The exact cause of the fire is not yet known. It affected 17 sectors, and several farms had to be evacuated during the blaze.
All the available firemen in the region were assigned to tackle the blaze, which was the latest fire to hit the South of France.
By Sunday night, the Mistral had died down after seventeen hours of high winds. The remains of the fire continued to burn in only four sectors. Several fire-fighting aircraft had been used to fight the flames.
SYNOPSIS: Fire swept across forest land in France's Cote d'Azur during the week-end. The blaze was fanned by the Mistral, a strong north-easterly wind. Aircraft were used to fight the blaze.
All the available fire fighting units in the region around Nice and Cannes were called out. By Sunday night, the fire had been contained but still burned in four sectors.
Several farms had to be evacuated because of the fire, which some blamed on garden bonfires that had got out of control. However officials are not yet positive what caused the blaze. About twenty thousand acres of woodland were destroyed.
Over a thousand men were involved in the firefighting operation, both on the ground and in the air.
Three years ago eleven people died in forest fires which swept through the Var Department on the Riviera. After the fires, the then Secretary of State for the Interior suggested the establishment of regular patrols and the construction of fire breaks.