According to Météo-France, the National Day must be marked by strong heat on the Atlantic coast, the south-west and the center-east, particularly around the valleys of the Garonne and the Rhône with 40°C possible.
In many places, the July 14 festivities have been adapted or even canceled due to the heat and the high risk of fire. Fireworks were banned.
Until Monday evening, no pyrotechnic show, private or public, will be able to illuminate the night in the Landes, placed in orange forest fire vigilance, like the Gironde.
And in Toulouse, a gigantic concert was delayed in order to start in the shade. Gourds and water bottles will be authorized and foggers installed around.
In Gironde, the ballet of aerial water bombers resumed at 8:30 a.m. to fight two fires, which since Tuesday have affected nearly 4,000 hectares of pines without causing any casualties and thrive on vegetation made “extra-dry” by the heat. of the last few weeks.
If the flames covered 2,100 hectares towards Landiras, a town located about forty kilometers south of Bordeaux, the situation in this sparsely populated area is “stabilized even if the fire is not yet under control”, explained the prefecture.
But the situation remains “uncertain” in La Teste-de-Buch, near the famous dune of Pilat, a tourist hotspot on the Atlantic coast, in particular “because of the difficulties of access”.
Some 1,750 hectares in this wooded sector of the Bassin d’Arcachon have been ravaged and the fire, which started from a vehicle on a forest road, is still not fixed.
In the early morning, around sixty people were evacuated as a preventive measure from a housing estate in Cazaux, a village in the town, according to the prefecture.
The previous night, 6,000 people had had to leave the five La Teste campsites to join an exhibition center.
Thursday morning, there were only around 150 left, Stéphane Pelizzardi, director general of municipal services, told AFP. “Most have returned home or have found accommodation elsewhere,” he said, while the prefecture considers it “too risky” to allow them to return to the campsite.
He asked campsite owners to tell their customers who had planned to arrive on Saturday “not to come”, a sign that a return to normal could take time.
A thousand firefighters, four Canadair and two Dash planes are mobilized to fight the flames, according to the prefecture, with in particular a reinforcement column from the great west.
According to Commander Matthieu Jomain, spokesman for the Departmental Fire and Rescue Service, the two fires are of the “same kind” but “the environment is different” in La Teste because of the “dune coating (loose soil, editor’s note ) and a certain type of vegetation, a user forest where, unlike Landiras, the plots are not maintained, which generates fuel”.
Visiting La Teste on Wednesday to “support” the firefighters, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin called for vigilance, stressing that “15,000 hectares” have already burned this year against “less than 1,000 hectares on the same date” in 2021.
According to Météo-France, heat waves will become “more frequent, earlier and later”, causing summers “increasingly hot, where 35 degrees will be the norm”.
For scientists, the multiplication, intensification and lengthening of heat waves, aggravated by greenhouse gas emissions, constitute an unequivocal marker of global warming.