PUBLICIDAD

Iberdrola

Morocco ravaged by flames: efforts to extinguish fires increase

Firefighters are having to step up their efforts with the army to control the blazes and prevent the situation from escalating further
A Moroccan soldier reacts to a forest fire near Ksar el-Kebir in the Larache region

AFP/FADEL SENNA  -   A Moroccan soldier reacts to a forest fire near Ksar el-Kebir in the Larache region

The fires in Morocco are still raging and are becoming a massive concern for all Moroccans. Due to the number of outbreaks, the country's firefighters have had to intensify their efforts to try to control the flames that are raging in the north of the Kingdom. 

The control teams, with the collaboration of the Moroccan army and citizen assistance, are beginning to unify in order to gather the greatest possible help to put out the fires. Of particular concern is the fire that has started in the province of Larache, south of Tangier. This is the worst affected area and the fire, which is still raging, is proving difficult to contain. In addition, the strong winds and the weather are further complicating the extinguishing work.

With the intensification of work, three air tankers are operating in this area alone to try to put out the fire. They make about 25 rotations during the day, dropping water on the burnt land, but the fire is so big that it seems impossible to stop it. Because of the danger it poses, 935 families from 15 villages near the fire have already been evacuated.

In addition to this, every available device is being used in the extinguishing efforts to contain the flames. The official Moroccan news agency MAP reports that 2,000 vehicles loaded with water have been deployed. Four Canadair and four Turbo Trash planes, provided by the Royal Moroccan Air Force, are also being called in to help the security forces. 

Una mujer abraza a un niño mientras miran hacia el humo de un voraz incendio forestal en la región norteña marroquí de Ksar Sghir AFP/FADEL SENNA
AFP/FADEL SENNA - A woman hugs a child as they look up into the smoke of a raging forest fire in the northern Moroccan region of Ksar Sghir.

The situation is easing in the other areas where the fires are still raging. In the Fahs-Anjra region, also close to the city of Tangier, the security forces have been able to control the fire that started in this region and are already working to clean up the affected areas so that nature can flourish again in a few years' time.

Similarly, the outbreaks in the forests of the provinces of Taunat and Tetouan have also been contained, but as these are wooded areas, the fires have devastated some 50 hectares and 160 hectares respectively, leaving a Morocco ravaged by flames. 

The Alawi kingdom is facing terrible consequences due to the spread of the fire, and the worst side of the fires is already being seen. According to Agencia EFE, four people have been reported dead in the last few days as a result of the fires. Two of them were volunteers who were working in the firefighting tasks and the others are two women who refused to leave their homes and were later found by rescue teams. The Moroccan authorities claim that these people refused to heed precautionary calls and died of asphyxiation inside their homes.

AFP, Agence France-Presse, reports that the Moroccan government claims that the fires are ravaging the Kingdom's Maghreb landscape and, as of today, some 10,568 hectares have been burned, mostly wildlands and some villages. By way of comparison, in 2021 only 2,782 hectares were burned by 285 fires between January and September. 

Árboles quemados tras un incendio forestal salvaje cerca de la ciudad marroquí de Ksar el-Kebir, en la región de Larache AFP/FADEL SENNA
AFP/FADEL SENNA - Trees burnt after a wildfire near the Moroccan town of Ksar el-Kebir in the Larache region

Fire this year has become the nation's main enemy. Since the 13th of this month, an emergency has been declared in the affected regions of Larache, Tetouan, Chaouen, Ouezan and Taza. Today, more than 1,400 families have had to be evicted from their homes because of the proximity of the flames. 

The outbreaks are beginning to be brought under control and are thought to be due to the heat wave that the kingdom has been experiencing for several weeks. The country is experiencing extreme temperatures, ranging from 41 to 47 degrees Celsius daily. Authorities say heat and wind are the main culprits in the affected areas. 

The Moroccan weather situation is becoming desperate. This year, Moroccans are facing fire and water shortages and are in complete agony. In the last year alone, the Kingdom has suffered 165 fires and more than 12% of the territory is now burnt by fire.