For the tens of thousands of returning holidaymakers heading north from the Riviera on the A8 motorway on one of the busiest weekends of the year, it was always going to be a very challenging time with serious traffic jams expected.
But conditions were made much worse on the evening of Saturday, July 28, when a truck caught fire at about 22:00 near Arcs-sur-Argens. The northbound lanes of one of France’s busiest motorways were closed for several hours, forcing drivers to choose other routes or seek shelter for the night.
Before the closure, it proved very difficult for firefighters to reach the vehicle to douse the flames, due to gridlock, and the fire spread to tinder-dry vegetation at the side of the motorway. Eleven fire trucks and 35 personnel were involved in dealing with the conflagration. It wasn’t until Sunday morning that the incident was brought under full control.
Meanwhile, the Lyon region was put under an orange alert on Sunday, July 29, with temperatures expected to peak at 34 degrees in the city itself. Montelimar was expecting a high of 37. Monaco will experience a peak daytime high of 34 on Tuesday, July 31, and nighttime temperatures will hover around an uncomfortable 25 or 26 for the next two weeks.