Météo-France lifted heat wave red vigilance on Tuesday morning in 15 departments on the Atlantic coast, but 73 remain placed on orange vigilance, with rising temperatures, between 37 and 40 ° C in the east, and locally violent storms expected in the southwest.

In this region, nearly 1,700 firefighters from all over France, supported by significant air resources, are mobilized against two blazes which burned 4,700 hectares of forest in La Teste-de-Buch and 12,000 in Landiras, 50 km away. east, according to the last point of the prefecture of Gironde Monday evening.

In these two municipalities, 16,000 people had to be evacuated on Monday by scorching heat, with more than 40°C, bringing the total number of evacuees to 32,000 in six days.

A man has been taken into police custody as part of the investigation into the Landiras fire, the Bordeaux prosecutor’s office announced.

At the end of the afternoon, a new fire broke out in Vensac, in the Médoc, burning 70 hectares.

On Monday, a huge plume of smoke was visible from the Arcachon basin.

At the foot of the Dune du Pilat, the five campsites, from which 6,000 holidaymakers had been evacuated on Wednesday night, “90% burned down”, said the prefect of Gironde, Fabienne Buccio.

Many explosions sounded Monday afternoon, due to gas canisters left in campsites and abandoned restaurants.

“We don’t let ourselves be beaten down, the fire doesn’t do what it wants, we annoy it. We build firewalls, ditches, everything we can do around it”, launched the prefect.

“The evacuation should allow the firefighters to concentrate on attacking the fire,” Lieutenant-Colonel Arnaud Mendousse, spokesman for the firefighters, told AFP.

– 2nd heat wave in a month –

Many local heat records were broken on this “hottest day of this heat wave”, announced Météo-France, the second heat wave since June.

According to provisional values ​​recorded at 5 p.m., the thermometer for example showed 39.3°C in Brest (against a previous record of 35.1°C in August 2003), 39.5°C in Saint-Brieuc (against 38, 1°C in August 2003), 42°C in Nantes (compared to 40.3°C in July 1949) or 42.6°C in Biscarrosse (compared to 41.7°C in June 2022).

During the night, the temperatures remained very high according to Météo-France, with an absolute record beaten in La Hague with 32.8°C at 3 a.m.

No one is safe any longer: the peak of this 45th heat wave recorded in France since 1947 affected the entire western facade, from Landes and Gers to Finistère on Monday. 313 hectares of vegetation burned in the Monts d’Arrée (Finistère).

The proliferation of extreme weather events is a direct consequence of global warming according to scientists, with greenhouse gas emissions increasing in intensity, duration and frequency.

During the night from Monday to Tuesday, “a cooler oceanic air mass arrived from the west”, ending “the intense heat wave episode on the Atlantic coast”, notes the Météo-France bulletin, which specifies that “temperatures will start to rise again in the more eastern regions” with maximums between 37 and 40 degrees.

At the end of the day, “locally violent thunderstorms” are expected in the Hautes-Pyrénées and Béarn, before progressing towards the Toulouse region, the Dordogne and the Limousin. These storms will locally cause violent gusts of wind and hailstorms, according to Météo-France.

The heat wave – the second in a month – affects the whole of Western Europe, also causing forest fires in Spain or Portugal. The temperature could exceed the 40°C threshold on Tuesday in Great Britain, a first in the country.

About half of the territory of the European Union is currently facing a risk of drought, the European Commission announced on Monday.