Days of relentless wildfires burning along France's southern coast have destroyed homes, ravaged acres of forest, and forced at least 12,000 people to flee.
Tourists evacuate a beach Wednesday in Bormes-les-Mimosas France.
Jean-paul Pelissier / Reuters
Several different fires were raging across the region Wednesday. Near the the historic coastal village of Bormes-les-Mimosas, 3,210 acres have burned, the AP reported, sending pillars of flame and smoke above crowded beaches.
Flames are visible at a beach in Bormes-les-Mimosas.
Anne-christine Poujoulat / AFP / Getty Images
In the forests near Artigues, a hamlet north of the Spanish border, flames have charred 4,200 acres. And another 4,950 acres have burned on the French island of Corsica.
Fire-devastated landscape in Biguglia, on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica, as seen on Tuesday.
Pascal Pochard-casabianca / AFP / Getty Images
According to the AP, southern France was the site of 13 different wildfires. Additional fires were burning in Portugal and Italy.
Roughly 250 trailer homes were destroyed in the blazes, along with several other buildings and vehicles. France 24 reported that flames also consumed a warehouse and a sawmill. No deaths have been reported.
The fires erupted on Monday and by Wednesday evening at least 12,000 people were evacuated from the region, officials told the AP.
Houses are surrounded scorched terrain near the village of Biguglia, on Corsica.
Raphael Poletti / AP
The affected area includes popular tourist destinations on the French Riviera, and in some cases evacuees took refuge on beaches. One official said Tuesday an "extremely virulent and difficult to control" blaze had burned near the famous resort town Saint-Tropez, France 24 reported.
Evacuees take refuge on the beach in Bormes-les-Mimosas on Wednesday.
Marion Leflour / AFP / Getty Images
Hundreds of people spent Tuesday night sleeping on beaches in Bormes-les-Mimosas while others found refuge in local shelters or businesses. A man who identified himself only as Renaud told France 24 that he and his family learned of the danger by people honking their car horns outside his home.
"We went to Le Lavandou, where we were sheltered in a restaurant that opened especially for all the evacuees,” Renaud said. “We slept in chairs and the owners kindly gave us croissants and coffee this morning."
Tourist Matthieu Dany, 23, told CNN that "from our villa in the mountains we can see smoke everywhere."
"We can see homes burning," he continued. "I was on the beach earlier, but came back because the fires were getting worse."
The flames have been fanned by strong winds and dry conditions, France 24 reported. The region is experiencing an exceptionally dry summer.
Multiple planes drop water over a fire in Mirabeau, southeastern France, on Monday.
Bertrand Langlois / AFP / Getty Images
Thousands of firefighters have joined the battle against the various blazes.
A plane drops fire retardant over a forest near La Londe-les-Maures on the French Riviera, Wednesday.
Claude Paris / AP
As of Tuesday, more than 4,000 firefighters had been deployed, according to France's Interior Ministry. Citing French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, BFM-TV reported that the number had increased to more than 6,000 people by Wednesday, more than 20 of whom had been injured.
In Portugal, which is experiencing a severe drought, another 1,700 firefighters were tamping down flames, the AP reported.
Firefighting aircraft in France alone made more than 500 drops Wednesday, but officials say they still don't have enough manpower or gear, the AP reported.
A Canadair plane drops water near Nice, France, Monday.
Eric Gaillard / Reuters
Renaud Muselier, the president of the Provence-Alpes-Cotes d'Azur area, said firefighters "don't have enough means," the AP also reported. The problem was exacerbated because many fire fighting planes were grounded for repairs, and nine of them are more than 60 years old.
Despite the difficult conditions, officials were making progress Wednesday.
Smoke is visible from a marina Wednesday in Bormes-les-Mimosas.
Jean-paul Pelissier / Reuters
Philippe, the prime minister, said Wednesday that "there will be more fires tomorrow" and cautioned that "the situation remains difficult," the AP reported. However, by the end of the day only three fires remained active in the Var region, which includes Saint-Tropez, out of dozens that began Wednesday.
French President Emmanuel Marcon also tweeted his support Wednesday for those affected by the blazes, offering admiration for firefighters and support for evacuees.