French and Riviera News Thursday 11th August 2022


Forest fire – More than 6,200 hectares of land and 17 houses have been destroyed by a forest fire in the Gironde. Almost a month after the region was devasted by forest fires, since Tuesday, firefighters have once again been deployed battling the flames and forcing the evacuation of 10,000 people. As in July, communal halls were opened to welcome residents who had to leave their homes. Some 500 firefighters, including firefighters from other departments, are on site. Several roads, including the A63, were closed on Wednesday. Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne announced on Twitter on Wednesday that she will visit the department today accompanied by the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin.

Meanwhile, a forest fire has been ravaging the hills behind Ventimiglia across the border in Italy since Monday. On Wednesday morning, the smell of smoke had extended to the Alpes-Maritimes. The fire broke out on Monday August 8th, when lightning struck a tree, and has continued to spread since, in the town of Airole, about ten kilometres from the sea. The fire although difficult to access has not yet threatened any homes.

Five-year-old child dies on inflatable buoy - A five-year-old child has died after drifting out to sea on an inflatable buoy off the beach of Jaï, in Marignane in the Bouches-du-Rhône. Another child, aged three and also present on the buoy, was recovered conscious but suffering from hypothermia by the rescuers. He was evacuated and hospitalized. The emergency services had been alerted at around 7pm on Tuesday evening following the disappearance of the two children who drifted out to sea due to windy conditions.

Covid incidence rate - There's been another fall in the Covid-19 incidence rate in Monaco. According to the government's weekly update on Covid numbers, the incidence rate in the week up to last Sunday evening was 235 per 100,000 people, down from 298.9 the previous week. In the week from the 1st to the 7th of August 92 new positive cases of Covid-19 were reported. As of Monday August 8, 11 people, including 5 residents, were hospitalized at the Princess Grace Hospital. Two patients were being treated in intensive care. On Monday night 53 people were being followed by the Home Monitoring Centre which medically supports patients with few symptoms.

Cannabis - Over 600kg of cannabis pollen have been seized by authorities at the La Turbie toll booths on the A8 motorway. The haul was found concealed in bags of wool being transported from Spain.

Beluga whale - The Beluga whale which had been trapped in a lock on the river Seine has died. Its condition deteriorated whilst being transported to an area of salt water in Calvados and vets took the decision to euthanize it.

Private beaches in Juan les Pins accused of racial discrimination - SOS-Racisme has accused two private beach restaurants in Juan les Pins of racial discrimination. The association had deployed teams to several private beaches in Perpignan, Marseille and the Nice region. According to the team of the six establishments visited, two have discriminatory practices. A file has since been entrusted to the lawyers of SOS-Racisme to start proceedings against the establishments concerned. Discrimination of this type can lead to a sentence of 3 years in prison and a fine of 45,000 euros.

Founder of starred restaurant Le Petit Nice in Marseille has died - Jean-Paul Passedat, founder of the starred restaurant "Le Petit Nice" in Marseille has died at the age of 88. Anchored on the white rocks on the Marseille coast, Le Petit Nice is the first restaurant in Marseille to have won three stars from the Michelin guide, under the leadership of its chef Gérald Passedat, his son. Celebrities like Pagnol or Fernandel have all been seen there.

Life is good if you live in Beaulieu - Beaulieu-sur-Mer has taken first place in a survey of communities where "life is good" in the Alpes Maritimes in the category 3,500 to 5,000 inhabitants. It was placed in 34th place nationally in communities of that size. Beaulieu-sur-Mer has 3,731 inhabitants in an area of just under one square kilometre.


The boss of budget airline Ryanair Michael O’Leary has admitted that it’s an end of an era of the £10 ticket as the company won't be offering flights at rock bottom prices any more due to the cost of fuel. The airline's average fare would rise from around €40 (£33.75) last year to roughly €50 over the next five years. But he says he believes people will continue to fly frequently, despite the rising cost of living.

Disney will launch a new ad-supported streaming service in the US in December, as it overtakes Netflix in the race for paid subscribers. The firm reported 221.1 million subscribers across its three streaming platforms at the start of July. That put it just ahead of Netflix, which has been losing customers.

Tesla boss Elon Musk has sold another 7.92 million shares in the electric car maker, worth around $6.88bn (£5.7bn). The sales took place after the firm's annual shareholder meeting last week, regulatory filings show. Mr Musk says he needs the money in case he is forced to buy Twitter for $44bn. The multi-billionaire is currently embroiled in a legal battle with the social media platform after saying last month he would pull out of a deal to buy it. The latest transactions were carried out on 5, 8 and 9 August, according to six filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.


Athletics - Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce ran the fourth-fastest ever women's 100m, 10.62 seconds, to win at the Diamond League here in Monaco. The five-time world 100m champion, bettered her own mark for the fastest 100m of the year, having clocked 10.66 seconds in Poland on Saturday. She has now run the third and fourth-fastest women's 100m times ever. Fellow world champion Jake Wightman of Britain won the 1,000m with the fastest time this year.

Tennis - Andy Murray lost in straight sets in the first round of the Canadian Open but fellow Briton Cameron Norrie progressed at the tournament in Montreal. Three-time champion Murray was beaten 6-1 6-3 by American Taylor Fritz. There were also wins for Britain's Jack Draper and Dan Evans.


The Var and the Alpes Maritimes have been placed on a yellow weather alert with rain and thunderstorms forecast from midday today. The warning is in place until 9pm this evening. Otherwise, sunny intervals highs of 30 degrees in Monaco, Nice and Cannes. This evening going down to 24 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for the bank holiday weekend, fine and sunny on Saturday. Storms breaking by Sunday evening and into bank holiday Monday.  

Sea temperature:    27 degrees                 UV level:  8

Sunrise:             06.30hr                                 Sunset:     20.40hr

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