France in the middle of a 4th heat wave against a backdrop of historic drought

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France is in the midst of its fourth heat wave as the country faces what the government warns is its worst drought on record.

National weather agency Météo France said the heat wave started in the south on Monday and is expected to spread across the country and last until the weekend.

Overall, the southern half of France is expecting daytime temperatures of up to 104 degrees which will not drop below 68 at night.

High temperatures are not helping firefighters tackle a wildfire in the Chartreuse mountains near the Alps in eastern France, where authorities have evacuated around 140 people.

Météo France said this week’s heat wave will not be as intense as that of last month, when several regions experienced record high temperatures. But the high temperatures come during the most severe drought on record, according to the government. Last month was the driest July since measurements began in 1959.

Some French farmers have started to see drops in production, including yields of soybeans, sunflowers and corn.

Water restrictions in place include daytime irrigation bans and limiting water use for people and livestock and to keep aquatic species alive.

The government said last week that more than 100 municipalities cannot supply drinking water through taps and need water to be trucked in.

The heat has also forced energy giant EDF to temporarily cut power generation at some of its nuclear plants, which use river water to cool reactors.

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