Several French towns record high temperatures

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jul 19 2022 03:04 AM | Updated as of Jul 19 2022 07:44 AM

Firefighters unroll the fire hose as smoke rises from a forest fire near Louchats, some 35 kilometers from Landiras in Gironde, southwestern France, 18 July 2022. Philippe Lopez, pool Maxppp out/EPA-EFE
Firefighters unroll the fire hose as smoke rises from a forest fire near Louchats, some 35 kilometers from Landiras in Gironde, southwestern France, 18 July 2022. Philippe Lopez, pool Maxppp out/EPA-EFE

A host of towns and cities across France recorded their highest ever temperatures on Monday as the country sweltered in a heat wave, the national weather office said.

The mercury hit 39.3 Celsius in Brest on the Atlantic coast in the far northwest of the country compared with a previous record of 35.1 C from 2002.

Saint-Brieuc on the Channel coast sizzled in 39.5 C compared with a previous record of 38.1 C, while western Nantes recorded 42 C, beating a previous high of 40.3 C set in 1949.

The all-time high temperature recorded in mainland France dates to 2019 when the southern village of Verargues, north-east of Montpellier, experienced 46 C.

Drought-like conditions and intense heat since the start of the summer have left large parts of France tinder-dry, causing problems for farmers and leading to forest fires.

Firefighters are struggling to contain a fire on the Atlantic coast west of Bordeaux in the vicinity of the famous Dune de Pilat, Europe's highest sand dune.