© Reuters. A firefighter creates a tactical fire in Louhats on July 17, 2022, as wildfires continue to spread in the Gironde region of southwestern France. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier
PARIS (Reuters) – France braced for what could be one of its hottest days on record on Monday, with temperatures reaching or even exceeding 40 degrees Celsius (104°F) along the coasts treasured by tourists as wildfires intensified in the west and south.
As of 1500 GMT, several local records were broken, with 42.6 degrees in Biscarrosse on France’s western Atlantic coast, 42.4 degrees in Cazzo and 40.7 degrees in Saint-Nazaire, Met France said in an update. The port of Brest in Brittany is 39.3 degrees. Northwest of the country.
It will be clear later Monday whether a new national all-day average temperature record will be set, currently set at 29.4 degrees during the historic heatwaves of 2003 and 2019.
As strong winds and high temperatures continue to fuel wildfires, smoke can be seen from the famous Atlantic Coast beaches near the towering Pyla Dunes near Arcachon. Interior Minister Gerald Dalmanin deployed three additional water bombers to the area.
Fires in the area have now spread over 14,800 hectares (36,571.6 acres).
So far, no injuries have been reported.
“The situation is very difficult because of the heat and wind. It will still be very difficult tonight,” local premier Fabienne Buccio said on BFM television.