Morocco: firefighters and soldiers in reinforcements to control forest fires

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Morocco: firefighters and military reinforcements to control forest fires

Reinforcements from the Moroccan army and firefighters have been deployed near Ksar El Kébir, in the Larache region, which is particularly affected by the forest fires.

Supported With fire and military reinforcements, Moroccan firefighting services continued on Saturday to fight the fires that have been ravaging remote wooded areas in the north of the kingdom for four days, local authorities told AFP. p>

Half of the approximately 4,660 hectares affected by the disasters went up in smoke in the province of Larache, where the largest outbreak is located and where one person died.

A total of 1,325 families from 19 douars (villages) have been evacuated so far in this region, according to local sources.

Additional reinforcements from the army and firefighters have been deployed since Friday, particularly in Ksar El Kébir, one of the most exposed areas, difficult to access.

Hundreds of hectares of forested land have been destroyed in the neighboring provinces of Ouazzane, Tetouan and Taza.

The flames are fanned by very high temperatures, approaching 40 degrees , and gusting winds, although increased fire department efforts combined with less adverse weather conditions point to respite on Sunday.

The causes of these fires are not known, but the human factor is not excluded, according to the authorities.

A Moroccan army Canadair water bomber fights forest fires in the Larache region, in the north of the kingdom.

In addition to four Canadair water bombers from the army and four Turbo Thrush spray planes, at the rate of dozens of rotations, several hundred elements of the Civil Protection, Waters and Forests, Royal Armed Forces (FAR) and the Gendarmerie, assisted by local authorities and volunteers, are still mobilized to try to stop the advance of the fires.

As a comparison, a total of 2,782 hectares of forest had been affected by 285 fires from January to September 2021 in Morocco, in particular in the mountainous region of the Rif (north), according to the Department of Water and Forests.

Morocco has been hit for several days by a heat wave, with temperatures approaching 45 degrees Celsius, in a context of extraordinary drought and water stress.

Across the Strait of Gibraltar, devastating fires are also raging in southern Europe west as a result of a heat wave that could break several temperature records early next week.

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