French and Riviera News Monday 1st August 2022


Heatwave - The heatwave returns to hit the south of France today Monday 1st August, as records show that the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region experienced its hottest month of July since 1947. Five departments; the Ardèche, the Drôme, the Gard, the Pyrénées-Orientales and the Vaucluse were placed on Sunday on an orange weather alert. The ten other departments in south-eastern France have been placed on a yellow alert, including the Alpes-Maritimes but not the Var. A few days after an exceptional heat wave that lasted two weeks, temperatures were again high on Sunday afternoon from Roussillon to Provence. 36 degrees was recorded in Marseille, Montpellier and Perpignan and 38 in Nîmes.

Risk of fires - To limit the risk of fire, access to all the forests of Vaucluse has been strictly prohibited since Saturday. In the Bouches-du-Rhône, 11 of the 25 forests areas in the department were closed again on Sunday, after a complete closure for several days. The closure comes as new fires hit the south-east of France on Sunday. 200 hectares was destroyed in the Gard where five firefighters were injured, one seriously and the thick cloud of smoke led to the partial closure of the A9 motorway near Marseille.  In the Bouches-Rhône, about twenty kilometers from Marseille, a fire broke out at the end of the afternoon near Pennes-Mirabeau covering 35 hectares. Some 200 houses threatened by the flames have been protected. This time the smoke was visible above the A7 motorway, which was cut off to motorists.

France has already been hit by several large fires since the start of the summer. Nearly 21,000 hectares were destroyed in Gironde and 1,600 hectares in Provence, south of Avignon, in mid-July. The prefecture on Sunday announced that the Gironde department will once again be placed on red alert for the risk of forest fires.

Swimming once again authorised - Swimming has once again been authorized at three beaches in Nice on Sunday after being closed on Saturday due to pollution. Tests carried out in recent hours have proven to be reassuring. The ban on swimming at Beau Rivage, Centenaire and Le Galet beaches, bordering the mouth of the river Paillon, was lifted on Sunday morning.

British couple in their 80s found dead in their swimming pool - A British couple in their 80s have been found dead in their swimming pool at their holiday home in Gignac in the Hérault. The couple were discovered on Saturday night by their neighbours who were supposed to be coming round for dinner. Emergency services attended the incident but neither could be saved. The couple are reported to visit their holiday home in the Occitania regio