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Wildfires kill 34 in Algeria as heat wave sweeps North Africa

More than 30 people were killed in a series of devastating forest fires that swept through several states in northern Algeria. The blaze spread across 16 provinces amidst record-high temperatures. Authorities said some 8,000 firefighters were battling to bring the flames under control

July 25, 2023 at 2:50 pm

The death toll, as wildfires sweep across regions of Algeria, has risen to 34 people including 10 soldiers on Monday, the Interior Ministry said, as a heat wave spreads across North Africa and southern Europe, Reuters reports.

Some 8,000 fire-fighters were battling to bring the flames under control, authorities said.

The Interior Ministry said that it is continuing its fire-fighting operations in the Boumerdes, Bouira, Tizi Ouzou, Jijel, Bejaia and Skikda regions.

About 1,500 people have been evacuated, so far.

The authorities have launched a judicial investigation into the causes of the fires.

A major heat wave is sweeping across North Africa, with temperatures of 49 Celsius (120 Fahrenheit) recorded in some cities in neighbouring Tunisia.

In Tunisia, wildfires swept through the border town of Melloula. Witnesses told Reuters that fires that had begun in mountainous areas had reached some people’s homes in the town and forced hundreds of families to flee.

A civil protection official said that they had evacuated hundreds of the town’s residents by land and by sea, in fishermen’s boats and coastguard vessels.

READ: Tunisia evacuates residents of border area with Algeria due to fires