Evening Update Monday 18 July 2022

The heatwave is continuing across France today, with temperatures exceeding 40 degrees in western areas. Several departments on the west coast are on a top-level Meteo France Red Alert for high temperatures. 69 other departments have been placed on an Orange warning, including the Alpes-Maritimes which is on an Orange alert until at least 6am tomorrow. Orange is the third highest of the four Meteo France alert levels. The Var is on a Yellow Alert.
The period from the beginning of June to the 15th of July has been the hottest in the Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur region since records began. Temperatures have even exceeded those seen during the heatwave of 2003 which resulted in many fatalities across France. Prior to the current heatwave, the highest temperature ever oficially recorded in France was 46 degrees in the Herault department in 2019.

A reminder that the  French government has reactivated the "Heatwave info Service" toll-free number. You can call 0800 06 66 66  from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. It's a free call from a landline in mainland France. The telephone number provides advice on how to protect yourself and those around you, especially the most fragile, and how to adopt the correct measures during high temperatures. Authorities advise people to drink water regularly and stay cool, do not drink alcohol, avoid exertion, especially during the hottest hours of the day, remain extremely vigilant when swimming to avoid the risk of drowning, spend several hours a day in a cool place, refresh your home, eat enough, enquire about the wellbeing of loved ones and neighbours and in case of emergency or illness, call 15.

Motorway operator VINCI Autoroutes is recommending extreme vigilance to drivers, especially in the departments where temperatures could break records. It recommends that they keep themselves well informed about traffic conditions and have water with them in their vehicles. Water points are available at all areas of the VINCI Autoroutes network and there are air-conditioned spaces to accommodate drivers during their breaks.

The Prefect of Nouvelle-Aquitaine et Gironde has said this afternoon that despite the significant land and air resources beingdeployed, the situation regarding the forest fires which have burned since last Tuesday is still not resolved. By early this afternoon 14,300 hectares had been burned by the two fires. About 3,500 people were being evacuated early this afternoon in the municipalities of Landiras, Budos and Bali-zac. Authorities were also undertaking the preventive evacuation of the "Miquelots" district and Pilat-sur-Mer in La Teste de Buch, consisting of about 5,000 and 3,000 people respectively. Later this afternoon and early this evening the Prefecture also announced the evacuation of several further communes. Early this eve