Dutch tourists hardly affected by France forest fires: tour operators

Forest fire raging in La Croix-Valmer, France, 24 Jul 2017
Forest fire raging in La Croix-Valmer, France, 24 Jul 2017. (Photo: @Tholand_ / Twitter)

Most of the Dutch tourists currently spending their holidays in the south of France have experienced little trouble from forest fires raging in the area, tour operators Neckermann Reizen and Vrij Uit said to RTL Nieuws on Wednesday. 

Forest fires have been raging in southern France near St Tropez and on Corsica since early this week. But of the tourists who booked holidays through the two companies, none had to be evacuated or had to leave the area prematurely. "Our customers don't notice much about that", a spokesperson said to the broadcaster. "They're enjoying their holiday."

So far the ANWB received nine reports from Dutch tourists who had to move out of their holiday homes or campsites due to the fires.

One of the evacuated Dutch tourists is Marieke van Gene, NOS reports. She and her family are staying at a campsite near Bormes-les-Mimosas. They were evacuated from the area at 3:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning. The campsite managers warned them that the fire was getting dangerously close and asked them to walk towards the beach as quickly as they could. 

"Behind the mountains at the campsite we saw flames", Van Gene said to the broadcaster on Wednesday morning. They've since returned to the campsite, but it is unclear whether they'll have to evacuate again. "We regularly see extinguishing planes. The sun is up, but with all the soot particles, it is still dark."