New alert by Météo France to pre-empt forest fires by sharing hazardous conditions

Météo France forest fires forest fire alpes-maritimes

With summer approaching and the risk of forest fires increasing, Météo France is launching a daily bulletin to help mitigate risks and encourage vigilance by the populace.  

As the old adage says, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In the case of forest fires, this couldn’t be more true.

Summer is high season for fire risks, and if the past few years are anything to go by, this summer could be as hot and dry as the last. Last year, France saw a significant number of fires gobbling up vast swaths of woodlands, and whilst not all could have been prevented, better knowledge of risk may have averted some.

To that end, Météo France will start putting out announcements every day from 1st June through to October to let people know what the fire danger levels are department by department.   

The new alerts will tell the public about the latest meteorological conditions, such as wind, heat, humidity and dryness of vegetation, in each region of the country so that people can adjust behaviours that may be considered dangerous in such situations.  


France’s catastrophic 2022 fire season saw over 65,000 hectares burned, with the Var and Alpes-Maritimes suffering some major incidents.  

This spurred President Emmanuel Macron to act by bringing together actors in the fight against forest blazes to come up with a way to try and prevent a repeat. The idea came about to create a “forest weather forecast”.  

The bulletins will show four levels of danger – green, yellow, orange and red – to help emphasize what vigilance the public should take.  


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Photo source: Fabian Jones for Unsplash 

Charles Leclerc releases song that’s surprising in more ways than one

Charles Leclerc playing the piano

Formula 1 driver, model and now musician? Monaco-born Charles Leclerc has just released a debut song, proving that his talents go far beyond those he has behind the wheel.  

Charles Leclerc may be best known for his skills being the wheel of his Ferrari, but it turns out he is a man with many other talents as well. He is actually quite a good pianist and, as such, has composed and recorded a song entitled AUS23 (1:1).  

The song, which can be found on Spotify and iTunes, comes in at just over four minutes and has a classical feel-good vibe evoking an awakening that is accompanied by pleasant-sounding strings.  

“I dare not define myself as an artist in any way… I really like playing the piano. This is how my first song was born,” said Leclerc of his debut. “I’m excited to share with you a piece made on the piano. It’s a project I was working on, born out of a passion for music and the desire to get away from the races or between one GP and another. I created this piece on the Australian GP and that’s why it’s called AUS23 (1:1). A denomination adopted with my team. I thought it was a nice connection to the world of racing.” 

Fellow driver Lewis Hamilton has long alluded to a future career in music, but with the exception of a few collaborations with pop stars, he is yet to break out as a solo artist.  

This puts Leclerc in a league of his own. His piece has risen to the Top 10 of several charts, marking him as an early success in his side-venture and certainly one of the few drivers, if not the only, to publish in the classical realm.  

To hear the song in full, click here.


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Photo source: Charles Leclerc / Instagram

Pilot of Gimli Glider among personalities in Monaco this month

The Air League of Monaco is hosting an interesting event this week, a seated dinner and Q&A with Captain Robert Pearson, the pilot who famously glided a passenger jet to safety in Canada after it had run out of fuel.

On Wednesday 3rd May, guests will be welcomed to a special event at the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation Conference Hall in Monaco, where Captain Robert Pearson will be guest speaker.

Captain Robert “Bob” Pearson and First Officer Maurice Quintal were flying Flight 143 to Ottawa when the Boeing 767 ran out of fuel, and consequently power in both engines and landing gear. Captain Pearson, also an experienced glider pilot, managed to land the plane on a closed runway that was being used as a race track. Miraculously, no one was seriously injured in the incident. The airliner was forever known as the Gimli Glider, and in 1985, Pearson and Quintal were awarded the first ever Fédération Aéronautique Internationale Diploma for Outstanding Airmanship.

Guests on Wednesday will be treated to a screening of the Discovery Channel’s documentary on the Gimli Glider, a Q&A with Captain Pearson, and a three course dinner. Money raised will go towards the Air League of Monaco, which was formed in November 2013 as a Monaco Charity. It is dedicated to “keeping Monaco and its surrounding area at the forefront of Aviation” and helps young people start a career in aviation by offering scholarships and awards.

It has Prince Albert II as its principal patron, while Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, Dame Shirley Bassey, former F1 driver Thierry Boutsen, and Monaco Ambassadors Club president Christian Moore are also among its patrons.

Stay tuned for our interview with Captain Pearson.


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