French and Riviera News Tuesday 19th July 2022


Forest fires - Forest fires continue to spread in the Gironde near Bordeaux as more people are evacuated. 16,700 hectares have been destroyed, representing more than one and a half times the area of Paris. At the Bassin d'Arcachon zoo in La Teste, an evacuation of the animals has begun.  1,700 firefighters "from all over France" are mobilized in the Gironde, with significant air resources. A man has been taken into police custody as part of the investigation into the fire.

Fire south of Avignon resumes - Meanwhile a fire south of Avignon which started last Thursday and led to neighbourhoods being evacuated has resumed. The fire, which had started at the foot of the Montagnette massif, in the north of the Bouches-du-Rhône, destroyed some 1,500 hectares. On Monday firefighters were once again mobilised assisted by two water bomber helicopters and a Canadair.

Sudden drop in temperature - As record temperatures were recorded across France one village in the Alpes Maritimes experienced a sudden drop of 16 degrees within just a few minutes. On Monday July 18th a violent storm broke out in Saint-Martin d’Entraunes, a small village in the hills of the Alpes Maritimes causing a drop in temperature from 28 to 11 degrees. According to Météo France, "89mm of rain fell in just over an hour" which considerably cooled the air.

Heatwave - The period from June 1st to July 15th, the first half of summer, has been the hottest ever observed since statistics began in 1947 in both Corsica and the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur region. The minimum night-time temperature recorded in Nice from Sunday to Monday was nearly 27.5°. Unheard of for a month of July.

Swimmers evacuated from the sea due to pollution - Two public beaches in Nice have had to evacuate swimmers from the sea due to oil pollution. The incident occurred at around 5.30pm on Sunday afternoon on two beaches in the city centre.

Man shot dead on terrace of a shisha bar in Paris - A man has been shot dead on the terrace of a shisha bar in the 11th arrondissement of Paris. The shooting occurred at around 9:30pm when two individuals got out of a car and fired. At present their identity and motivation remains unknown.  Four other people were more lightly injured, and one of the two assailants was arrested, the second is still at large.

Train traffic interrupted due to power supply - Train traffic at the Gare de l'Est in the French capital was interrupted for several hours on Monday due to a problem with the power supply. The incident occurred at around 4.30pm and affected TGV, Transilien, TER and RE