Evening Update Tuesday 19 July 2022

Firefighters in Gironde in the west of France continue to battle the two major forest fires which have now been burning for a week. President Macron will reportedly visit the area tomorrow. In an update this afternoon the Prefect of Nouvelle-Aquitaine et Gironde said that 19,300 hectares had now been burned in the fires. The evacuation of the commune of Saint-Symphorien has been in progress this afternoon. About 2,000 people were affected, including an elderly care facility of 80 residents, who will be taken to the nearest suitable reception facilities. Yesterday over 16,000 people were evacuated from premises, bringing the total number to over 36,000. 2,000 firefighters from Gironde and the whole of France are currently mobilized, supported by 8 Canadairs and 2 Dash planes.

Smoke from the fires was blown over the city of Bordeaux by a change in wind direction last night and this morning. The Regional Health Agency for Nouvelle Aquitaine has published recommendations for people who are sensitive to smoke. The Agency said that clouds of smoke and the smell of burnt wood are perceptible, depending on the direction of the winds, outside the department or even the region. It said that particular vigilance is necessary for people at risk.

Elsewhere in France, a fire in Finistere in the north-west has burned through 1,400 hectares of undergrowth. Five hundred people were evacuated from premises and six firefighters suffered from the effects of smoke inhalation.

Locally, the municipality of Antibes Juan les Pins has taken the decsion to control access to some of its natural spaces to limit the risk of fire. The areas concerned are the Bois Garoupe (except the access road and Garoupe plateau), Bois Fort Carré, Villa Eilenroc, Bois Semboules and Parc Albany, which are all closed until 13 August. The municipality said that the closure measures follow the classification by the Prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes of the territory in the Drought Crisis Zone and the exceptional weather conditions.

The Monaco government has published its weekly update on Covid-19 numbers, which show a decline in the incidence rate. Over the 7 days prior to last Sunday, the incidence rate was 733 per 100,000 people, down from 994 in the previous week. In the week from 11 to 17 July, 287 new positive cases of Covid-19 were detected. As at yesterday evening, 49 people, including 36 residents, were hospitalized at the Princess Grace Hospital. One person was being treated in intensive care. 151 people were being monitored by the Home Monitoring Centre.

Motorway operator Vinci Autoroutes has said that traffic on its network is expected to be very heavy this week. The main congestion will be concentrated on Friday and Saturday, particularly in the Rhône Valley and at Saint-Arnoult-en-Yvelines, while peaks in traffic are also expected on Sunday and Monday. It recommends, as far as possible, to travel outside the hottest periods, to have breaks throughout your journey and to carry enough water.

The Prefect of the Var has inaugurated a new accommodation centre for Ukrainian refugees. State services have set up the facility in Varages with the municipality, local partners and the Forum-Refugees association.

 

BUSINESS

In the UK, pay after taking inflation into account has fallen at its fastest rate on record. The Office for National Statistics said today that real pay excluding bonuses fell by 2.8% between March and May.

Certain aircraft refuelling staff at Heathrow Airport are due to take industrial action later this week. Workers employed by Aviation Fuel Services will stage a three-day walkout from early on Thursday morning to early on Sunday in a dispute over pay. Several airlines at Heathrow could face disruption as a result.

 

SPORT

Football... Tottenham have signed England under 21 defender Djed Spence from Middlesborough. He's signed a five year contract worth up to £20m.

Cricket... England are playing South Africa in the one day series. It's Ben Stokes last match playing in ODIs.

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