The French army were called “imbeciles” by regional government prefect Michel Sappin after a shelling exercise went terribly wrong and set fire to a surburb of Marseille.
According to the Metro news, the Foreign Legion was conducting artillery practice during scorching summer temperatures and high winds, which meant that virtually every shell that landed on a hillside started a fire.
The National Forestry Office said 400 to 500 homes were threatened along a five-mile fire front. One firefighter suffered burns and four rescuers were treated for smoke inhalation.
By dawn on July 23 the fire was reported to be under control. It was the worst fire to hit southern France in three years.