Ardèche (07), Drôme (26), Gard (30), Pyrénées-Orientales (66) and Vaucluse (84): five departments have been placed under orange vigilance in the south of France.
They should go through a “new heatwave episode whose intensity and duration will be less than those of the previous episode”, said Météo-France on Sunday in a bulletin.
The ten other departments in the south-eastern quarter of France have been placed on yellow alert.
A few days after an exceptional heat wave that lasted two weeks, temperatures were again high on Sunday afternoon from Roussillon to Provence.
– The heat intensifies –
36 degrees were recorded in Marseille, Montpellier and Perpignan on Sunday at 4:00 p.m., and 38 in Nîmes.
South of Nîmes (Gard), fanned by the Mistral and the Tramontana, a fire destroyed 200 hectares of pine forest on Sunday evening, and four firefighters were injured, one seriously.
A large plume of gray and orange smoke required the partial closure of the A9 motorway. The Gard had been placed on Saturday, for the first time this season, in “extreme danger” level in the Gard Rhodanien zone.
Another fire broke out at the end of the afternoon about twenty kilometers from Marseille, near Pennes-Mirabeau.
This multiplication of episodes of high heat is a direct consequence of global warming according to scientists, greenhouse gas emissions (linked to energy production, transport, industry) increasing both their intensity , their duration and frequency.
“The heat is intensifying again,” warned Météo-France.
The heat should be felt in the morning and in the afternoon of Monday in the south, with temperatures of 35 to 38 degrees in the departments placed in orange vigilance, and peaks at 39 degrees towards the Gard.
The episode of strong heat should “extend Tuesday and Wednesday over many regions”, to the west and in the Rhône valley, forecasts Météo-France.
Across France, the heat peak is expected for Wednesday with maximums often greater than or equal to 35°C and peaks at 39 or 40 degrees in the southwest.
This peak should however be “brief in many departments”, according to Steven Testelin, forecaster at Météo France, and cooler air could arrive Thursday from the northwest.
Météo France recommends watching over the elderly, people with chronic illnesses or mental health disorders, people who regularly take medication, and isolated people.
Dehydration or heat stroke (fever, hot, red and dry skin, headaches, nausea) can also affect athletes and people who work outdoors.
– Record drought –
The Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur region experienced its hottest month of July since 1947. In France, July 2006 remained warmer.
France, on the other hand, experienced its driest July since the start of measurements in August 1958, confirmed Météo France.
Western Europe faced a historic drought in July and two heat waves in barely a month, during which devastating forest fires broke out as in Gironde or now in Greece.
The Gironde prefecture has announced that the department will again be placed on red alert for a risk of fires, prohibiting the movement of people and vehicles in the forest between 2 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Access to the forests is also strictly prohibited in the Vaucluse, and in 4 of the 25 massifs of the Bouches-du-Rhône.
In the Jura, new water restrictions apply on Monday. The watering of lawns and any green space is prohibited, as is the filling of private swimming pools, or the washing of vehicles.