Rabat – Hot weather caused another fire in the north of Morocco, destroying over 300 hectares of the Akesmae forest in the town of Bab Berred near Chefchaouen.
The fire broke out on Tuesday at around 2 p.m. The forest mainly hosts pine and cork oak trees, and other species.
Efforts to bring the flames under control have continued into Thursday.
More than 270 Civil Protection elements are leading efforts to contain the spread of the forest fire that has blocked the road between Chefchaouen and Al Hoceima.
The Chefchaouen forest fire has also required the intervention of Royal Armed Forces and Auxiliary Forces, as well as local and provincial authorities and residential volunteers.
Royal Armed Forces deployed two “Canadair” planes, the Rif regional director of waters and forests told Morocco’s state media.
In a red-level meteorological bulletin on Tuesday, Morocco’s General Directorate of Meteorology (DGM) announced that the temperature will reach up to 41 degrees celsius in several provinces including Chefchaouen.
Chefchaouen witnessed forest fires in September of last year, ravaging more than 470 hectares near the natural resort of Akchour. Efforts to control the fire spanned seven days and required three firefighting planes.
The fire broke out on August 1 and took over five days to extinguish. Members of the High Commission for Water and Forests, the Auxiliary Forces, the Gendarmes, the Royal Army, the Civilian Protection Forces, and 850 residents joined the firefighting efforts.
Most recently, the southern province of Guelmim has also known a major fire outbreak. A wildfire ravaged the oasis of Tighmert on Tuesday, killing livestock.
The fire broke out shortly after Morocco’s national meteorology directorate announced that temperatures will reach up to 49 degrees Celsius in some southern provinces, including Guelmim.
The notice warned of warm sirocco winds, known in Morocco as “chergui,” another factor that adds to the risk of wildfires.