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Algeria: 11 forest fires erupt in one day

August 16, 2022 at 11:25 am

A view of the damaged area after wildfires as all fires have been extinguished in Tizi Ouzou, at Beni Douala town of Algeria on August 13, 2021. [Mousaab Rouibi – Anadolu Agency]

Algeria recorded 11 fires in six different governorates on Sunday, with authorities trying to extinguish them, according to the Algerian Civil Defence.

“Since this morning, we have recorded 11 fire outbreaks in six states,” said Farouk Ashour, the spokesman of the Algerian Civil Defence, to the Algeria Press Service (APS).

Ashour said the states affected are Bejaia, Skikda, El-Tarf, Oum El Bouaghi, Lassat Sharqi and Tipaza.

He explained that the “Algerian Civil Defence managed to extinguish 47 fire spots in 12 states on Saturday.”

“Since the beginning of last June, Algeria has recorded 889 forest and jungle fires in the states of Bejaia, Setif, Jijel and Skikda.”

The fires destroyed “532 hectares of forests, 668 hectares of jungles, and 579 hectares of bushes,” he added, noting that “this outcome is low compared to the same period last year.”

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“It is difficult to determine the cause [of the fires] at present,” he said, adding that he does not rule out the human factor “and the heat wave that some parts of the country are witnessing.”

Algeria declared a state of high alert last month to confront forest fires after temporarily freezing coal production, while several governorates prevented wandering in forests.

Last year, several Algerian governorates witnessed fires described as the largest in the country’s history, causing the death of 69 people, including 28 soldiers, along with huge material losses, as well as destroying about 100,000 hectares of land.