Monday “will mark the culmination of this heatwave episode” in the Southwest and on the Atlantic coast, with temperatures exceeding 40°C in places and records expected in Brittany. The heat wave will move eastwards on Tuesday, before receding from Wednesday, according to Météo-France.

Under the effect of this heat wave, ozone concentrations “remain sustained throughout the Metropolis”, with an expected deterioration on Monday, particularly in the Atlantic arc and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, according to Prev’air, the national air quality forecasting platform. Airparif, for its part, plans to “exceed the information threshold” on Monday in Ile-de-France.

On Sunday, firefighters were still hard at work in Gironde, where two fires have destroyed 10,500 hectares of vegetation since Tuesday. During the night, “several outbreaks of fire threatened the campsites of the Dune du Pilat, which had to be evacuated”, indicated the prefecture on Twitter.

In this sector of Teste-de-Buch, where the fire progressed little during the night – going from 3,200 to 3,400 hectares that went up in smoke – “the night was complicated”. “The strategy was to protect the campsites, which we managed to do,” Lieutenant-Colonel Arnaud Mendousse, spokesman for the fire department, told AFP.

The fight was fierce, won “pine by pine”, where each tree saved from the flames could again be threatened by changing winds feeding the fire on different fronts, leaving the “teams tired”.

In Landiras, the second front in Gironde, the fire has also progressed less than last night, going from 7,000 to 7,100 hectares burned, thanks to an “effective strategy” via “the lighting of tactical fires and the creation of firewalls” , according to the spokesman for the fire department.

In total since Tuesday, more than 14,000 residents and holidaymakers have had to pack up, finding refuge in particular in the seven emergency accommodation centers open. On all of the two Girondin fronts, 1,200 firefighters are mobilized, supported by water bombers.

– “More intense droughts” –

In the Bouches-du-Rhône, the fire in the Montagnette massif south of Avignon, which covered nearly 1,500 hectares and mobilized 400 firefighters, was fixed on Sunday, despite several small fires caused by the wind. who got up in the night.

In Toulouse, as everywhere in the South-West where temperatures will rise locally to 39/40°C, the shutters are often closed at dawn. Thierry Gausserand, 66, faces his first heat wave since his stroke: “Usually, I walk at my own pace. There, if I go too fast, I get tired, and if I move too slowly, the The heat is unbearable. So I don’t go out at all between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.,” he told AFP.

In Lille, the majority of the city’s parks remain open continuously at night and the foggers, scattered around the city, operate from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Faced with the overwhelming heat which is gradually imposing itself everywhere, a single weapon: hydrate and limit your movements to the hottest hours, recalls Météo-France.

And we will have to get used to it, warned Florence Habets, hydroclimatologist and research director at the CNRS, at the microphone of RMC on Sunday morning.

“With climate change, it is almost certain that droughts will be more intense, longer”, because it is “hotter” in a situation where “the water that can be stored in the soil following precipitation leaves faster in the atmosphere,” she explained. However, this year, France entered the summer in a water “stress situation”, with water tables not sufficiently replenished during the winter.

This heat wave affects all of Western Europe, also causing forest fires in Spain or Portugal. In the UK, the Meteorological Agency has issued the first-ever “red for extreme heat” alert in the country’s history. Temperatures could exceed 40 degrees there, a first since the start of weather measurements.