In the northern French port city of Calais, tensions were high as bulldozers continued dismantling the southern half of the Jungle camp, which has become a magnet for people hoping to reach Britain.
Roving teams were trying to convince the inhabitants to leave of their own volition and move to better accommodation provided for them, but many fear it will take them further from their goal of reaching Britain.
“We have already seen prison and torture, this doesn't scare us,” a migrant told one of the teams, reported the AFP.
The UK-based Help Refugees Group tweeted on Tuesday that six shelters had been lit on fire and that police prevented the workers from putting them out early.
Other migrants sat on the roofs of their shelters in a bid to stop police from tearing them down.
One particularly dramatic scene saw a migrant woman apparently threaten to slit her own wrists while standing on the roof of her own shelter. Police soon reached the woman as protesters yelled in the background.
Officials have said the demolition would affect between 800 and 1,000 people, although charities working there say it would affect more than 3,450 people, among them 300 unaccompanied children.
The demolition comes ahead of talks on Thursday between French President Francois Hollande and British Prime Minister David Cameron. The fate of the camp has also played into fraught discussions about Britain's possible exit from the European Union (EU).