“This fire is not settled at all, we have untreated edges because they are inaccessible which progress freely, so we are going there meter after meter, it is a long-term job”, described to AFP the lieutenant- Colonel Eric Agrinier.

More than 900 firefighters, some from other departments, are expected to fight step by step against this “mega-fire”, according to the term used by the rescue services, and the air drops resumed at dawn.

During the night the fire “slowed down a bit”, according to Éric Agrinier, and the situation improved in the villages of Bordezac, where the fire started on Thursday, and Bessèges, “both strongly threatened on Thursday”.

Despite the violence of the flames which burned hundreds of hectares in just a few hours, “only a garage was damaged, and a mazet (Editor’s note: small rural construction)”, welcomed Mr. Agrinier.

But the strong wind which continued to blow on Friday, with announced gusts of 60 to 80 km / h, worried the firefighters: “It is our absolute enemy, because we have other fire starts, this night it took the exit of Nîmes, along the A9”.

The whole South-East of France is at high risk due to very unfavorable weather conditions. On Twitter, the general direction of civil security thus recommended great caution until Sunday “due to a very high danger of fires in the Mediterranean area”.

– 100 people evacuated –

Thursday evening, the hamlet of Bordezac was saved “in extremis” by the firefighters, according to Jean Rampon, the sub-prefect of Alès. In the middle of the night, a hundred people, including the majority of the inhabitants of this village, had to evacuate their homes and find makeshift accommodation, at the restaurant in Aujac, for example, a neighboring town.

“I am putting people in rooms and all the lodgings have done the same”, confirmed Régine Marchand, its manager, in the evening to AFP: “We make them pasta, people left quickly , with nothing, but they keep their spirits up, there is a good atmosphere”.

Besides Bessèges and Bordezac, the small village of Gagnières was also heavily worried on Thursday. With the Minister for Local Authorities, who came to Bessèges around midnight, its mayor, Olivier Martin, also wanted to highlight the action of firefighters who, returning from a mission, found themselves the first on the fire.

“They lit a counter-fire”, saving according to him “a lot of houses. I think that the village of Gagnières was saved thanks to these four firefighters”, explained the mayor to Mrs. Caroline Cayeux, underlining the importance of “keeping local fire stations”.

During the night, the inhabitants of this village had been called upon to remain confined to their homes.

According to a latest report from the Gard firefighters on Friday morning, 13 firefighters were slightly injured. As for traffic, it was still prohibited in the Bessèges sector, and the roads cut off.

In the neighboring department of Bouches-du-Rhône, firefighters had fought against 35 fires on Thursday, many in suburban areas.

In Arles, four houses were destroyed by the flames. During the night of Thursday to Friday, another fire broke out in Saint-Mitre-les-Remparts, where 80 hectares of brushwood went up in smoke. Up to 250 firefighters were mobilized on this fire, set in the early morning according to the firefighters’ Twitter account.