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Alert: Orange heatwave warning extended to 11 French departments

Temperatures were expected to reach 40C in some southwestern areas today with the heat set to intensify over the weekend

11 French departments are now under orange heatwave alerts Pic: Ed Connor / Shutterstock

There are now 11 departments under an orange heatwave alert as temperatures approach 40C in some areas of south-west France. 

Gard, Vaucluse, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and Pyrénées-Orientales have now joined Gironde, Lot-et-Garonne, Tarn-et-Garonne, Haute-Garonne, Tarn, Ardèche and Drôme on the second-highest alert level. 

Some 30 departments surrounding the areas on orange alert are also under yellow warnings.

Today, temperatures were expected to reach 39-40C in the south west and the Rhône valley and 33-35C in central France. 

The weather was set to cool slightly in more northerly regions, with temperatures of 23-29C in the north and north west and 31-33C in Ile-de-France. 

However, this drop will not last, as national weather forecasting service Météo France expects temperatures to peak on Sunday and early next week. 

Read more: French heatwave: what temperatures are expected this weekend?

Gironde is also on an orange alert for wildfires as around 1,000 firefighters work to tackle two blazes which have burnt around 4,000 hectares of land in the department. 

Read more: More people evacuated as south-west France wildfires rage on

Do I need to take any action? 

If you live in a department on orange alert for heat, you should: 

  • Drink water several times a day 

  • Eat normally 

  • Spray your skin with water or take warm showers or baths to keep cool 

  • Avoid going out between 11:00 and 21:00 

  • Put on a hat and lightweight clothes if you do have to go out 

  • Try to stay in a cool space at the hottest points in the day 

  • Limit sporting or other physical activities

  • Close your windows, curtains and shutters during the day and open them at night

  • Check on elderly or vulnerable relatives and friends

  • Call a doctor if you feel unwell

  • You can also call your mairie if you need help

Related articles 

Much of south-west France on heightened heatwave alert

Thousands evacuated as wildfires rage in southwestern France

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