Wildfires in South Eastern France have forced 12,000 local people and holidaymakers to evacuate as overnight fires created a developing state of emergency, say local officials.

'We are going to find burnt fortifications'

The latest massive blazes rage a day after France asked for help fighting the fires from EU neighbours. At least 4,000 hectares (15,4 sq miles) of land and forests have burned in Toulouse, along the Mediterranean coast near Bormes-les-Mimosas (Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur region), in the mountainous interior and on the northern side of Corsica island.

Saint Tropez, 1000 km east of Nice, was another of the worst ravaged areas by the blaze. British tourist Lisa Minot, one of 3000 people evacuated from Saint Tropez, confirmed to BBC that all tourists were evacuated at about 2 am local time.

“There were a lot of children being evacuated” she added. Tourists have been moved to the beach as it was not safe in the wooded campsites, while residents sheltered in a local gymnasium. Several people curled up in sleeping bags on the sand, while behind them black smoke rose to the sky.

Reports show that some campsites were totally burned by the fire. François Foucier, a member of a coastal member group, told the Guardian there would be victims of the fires in Hermann's Tortoises Holiday Village.

“We are going to find burnt shells and fortifications", he said. Desolated Deputy Mayor René Carandante described the landscape as a “disaster area”.

20 emergency workers have been hurt

The fires along the Riviera and Corsica began on Monday. Experts said the flames have been spread by strong Mistral winds and lack of rain. Sylvie Houspic, a VAR official, told BFMTV news Channel that the fire that started Tuesday evening near Bormes-Les-Mimosas and had torched a trailer park in a “densely populated” area.

Ms Houspic added that two houses had burned down and that a firefighter had suffered a broken wrist. More than 20 of 4,000 emergency workers fighting the fires have been injured through smoke inhalation since the fires broke out.

Calling on everyone's civic-mindedness

Summer fires are not unusual in southern European regions but Grégory Allione, the head of the Fire Department in the Bouches-du-Rhône region, claimed on Monday there are suspicions of “malicious acts” in several cases. "I call upon everyone's civic-mindedness,” Interior Minister Gérard Collomb posted on Twitter on Monday night before sending six more Canada Air water bombers into the afflicted area.