The southwestern Gironde region of France experienced the worst fires to date.
The provinces of Nouvelle-Aquitaine and Gironde said on Twitter that 14,300 hectares (35,000 acres) of land had been burned as of Monday, with 24,000 people evacuated from the area.
And authorities deployed 1,700 firefighters to tackle the fires. A spokesman for the Gironde Regional Fire and Rescue Service said 12 firefighters had sustained minor injuries since the operation began.
High temperatures in Portugal have exacerbated the drought that began before the heat wave, according to data from the National Institute of Meteorology. About 96% of the mainland was already experiencing severe or severe drought at the end of June.
The national weather agency reported that monthly minimum temperature records may be smashed across France on Monday. Météo-France has identified nine regions where monthly minimums appear to be broken, including Rostrenen in Brittany, northwest France, where the record has held since 1968.
In addition to the Gironde, Météo-France issued a red heat wave alert for a total of 15 counties in its western and southwestern regions, with temperatures forecast to reach 42°C (108°F) on Monday. Another 51 areas have been put on an orange alert, including Paris, with residents urged to avoid going outside between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. local time.
Météo-France added that “given the expected peak intensity for the day, the chances of the mercury dropping sufficiently before the end of the day are low” so that these records are not broken.
Since May, France has seen only eight days when average daily temperatures have been lower than average summer temperatures. In the remaining 39 days, the national daily averages were above the average temperatures for this time of year observed between 1991 and 2020, according to Météo-France data.
According to the report, the water supply could be “at risk” in the coming months.
“The warmest day in UK history”
The Met Office’s executive director, Penelope Endersby, said Monday could be “the hottest day in UK history”, but Tuesday was expected to be “the hottest”.
“So tomorrow we really see a chance of 40 degrees higher and temperatures higher than that,” Endersby told BBC radio on Monday.
“Maybe higher than that, 41 isn’t out of the cards. We have about 43 in the form but we hope it’s not as high as that.”
Endersby said that while extreme temperatures are not expected after Tuesday, the Met Office will be monitoring the possibility of drought in the coming months.
“We are expecting a significant drop in temperature overnight until Wednesday — 10 or 12 degrees lower than it was in the previous days,” she said, adding: “Our attention, once we get past those two days, turns to drought and when we see any rain, we don’t see any rain.” A heavy rain is coming.”
Joseph Attaman, Jimmy Hutchion and Xiaofei Shaw reported from Paris. It was mentioned by Zahid Mahmoud and Sana Nour Haq from London. CNN’s Renee Bertini, James Frater, and Sharon Braithwaite contributed to this post.
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