150 firefighters were already mobilized against the flames of this fire, which was described as “unfavourable”, “fanned by a violent wind”, pending reinforcements of 350 additional men.
In addition to the hamlet of Bordezac, where it broke out around 5:00 p.m., the fire had reached the towns of Bessèges and Gagnières in the evening. Around 10:00 p.m., it had already destroyed more than 500 hectares of vegetation, according to the firefighters, supported by significant air resources, with 6 Canadair and two Dash.
“This fire is, how to say, a mega fire”, explained to AFP the commander Tanguy Sagères, in charge of communication of the firefighters of Gard. “And it’s not going to calm down tomorrow! It will continue tonight and several days”.
At the end of the evening, 70 people living in Bordezac had been evacuated to Aujac and Robiac Rochessadoule, two neighboring towns, according to the Gard prefecture.
“I am putting people in rooms and all the lodgings have done the same”, explained Régine Marchand, manager of the Aujac restaurant, Thursday evening to AFP: “We make them pasta, people are left quickly, with nothing, but they keep their spirits up, there is a good atmosphere”.
Ten inhabitants of a threatened area of Bessèges had been relocated to a holiday camp, while the authorities recommended the inhabitants of this town, as well as those of Gagnières, to remain “confined”, windows closed.
“A house burned down and the village of Bordezac was saved in extremis by the firefighters,” Jean Rampon, the sub-prefect of Alès, told AFP at the fire department in Bessèges, testifying to a wind “still virulent, blowing south-southeast but sometimes changing direction”.
– Four burnt houses –
Another fire was still raging Thursday evening in the Gard, in Générac, in the south of the department. Faced with this fire which covered 150 hectares of low vegetation and pines, 50 machines and 120 men were mobilized.
It was on the territory of this same commune of Générac that the pilot of a Tracker 22 lost his life in August 2019 while fighting a violent fire which had burned 800 hectares of vegetation.
In the neighboring department of Bouches-du-Rhône, firefighters had to deal with no less than 35 fire outbreaks during the day. And in particular in Arles, around noon, with a fire starting from reeds and brushwood in a commercial area.
Driven by a strong Mistral, the fire had quickly spread to finally jump National 113, a strategic axis ensuring the junction of the A54 between Nîmes and Marseille, and cut it in both directions.
At 8:00 p.m., the fire was fixed and the RN113 was able to reopen. The firefighters, however, remained on site “for drowning and surveillance”, they explained to AFP, but they no longer feared a resumption of fire. Four houses were burned, according to an initial relief report, and four others damaged.
At the end of the day, another fire was “over”, according to the firefighters of Bouches-du-Rhône, in Martigues where a fire started in the Escaillon district had caused the confinement of the inhabitants and the temporary evacuation of the residents. of a retirement home.
In a department marked by extreme drought and in anticipation of strong winds, the 500 firefighters of Sdis13 had been reinforced by 450 additional men on Thursday, they said.
The gusts reached up to 85 km / h Thursday in the Bouches-du-Rhône where the prefecture had prohibited access to the 25 massifs of the department, from the National Park of the creeks to the Alpilles very close to Arles. For Friday, only six massifs will remain closed.