“We could see ash coming down onto the house and the planes spraying water on the other side of the hill next to us,” Sam Evans, another British expat who fled with his five dogs, told ACN. “We’ve been provided with lots of things, basically anything we’ve needed.”
Across the border in the south of France, people breathed a sigh of relief as temperatures began to fall and authorities lifted the red alert which had been declared for the first time as the temperature hit 45.9C.
But Paris wilted during its hottest day of the heatwave, with a high of 38C, and many Parisians stayed indoors behind curtains and shutters, while the more adventurous swam in the Canal Saint Martin.
People rushed to buy electric fans, but stocks were quickly exhausted. High-speed trains were forced to slow down because of fears the extreme heat was causing rails to expand, and sections of motorway were closed.
The French government has imposed emergency measures including cold rooms in public buildings and temporary water fountains. Parks are being left unlocked at night so people can cool off.