Algeria: Fight against forest fires continues

The fight against the wildfires that ravaged northern Algeria for five days progressed on Friday, particularly in the most devastated region of Tizi Ojou in Kabilia, where the population is in shock.

At least 71 people have died since Monday in the scorching heat intensified by the scorching heat, according to the latest assessment by officials condemning the blasphemy to a “criminal” origin.

There are only three homes left in Tizi Ouzou Prefecture, the Civil Defense tweeted at the end of the afternoon.

On the other hand, firefighters and volunteers continue to fight against 51 fires in 16 prefectures on the Tunisian border, particularly in Bejaya, Jijel and El Taref. According to the latest Civil Defense report, it is the last area, which is sparsely populated, that had the highest number of fires on Friday.

A total of 76 fires out of a hundred listed across the country have been doused as of Thursday.

Faced with tragedy, displays of solidarity by civil society are being deployed on the ground and international aid is being organized.

People got relief due to the arrival of water bombers

According to President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, Algeria was to benefit from reinforcements of two from Spain and one from Switzerland, following the intervention of two water bombers and a French liaison aircraft in Kabylia.

Witnesses said the arrival of the water bombers “relieved the population”.

The water bombers made “40 drops yesterday and 144 today, with eight hours of rotation. We don’t stop, we get tired,” according to Christian Mauffre, head of the French Canadian contingent, who arrived on Thursday with seven other pilots.

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“It gets quiet tonight,” confirms Mr. Mafre: “The area that is burning is huge. We essentially protected the villages, so we are very close to the villages between Bejasa and Algiers. reached.

The Algerian Defense Ministry also reported on Friday a gathering of several heavy Russian-origin Mi-26 helicopters.

According to the special site MENA Defense, the Algerian army intends to purchase eight Russian water bombers Beriev B-200.

On a second day of national mourning to honor the victims, Algerian mosques held prayers for absentees just after the great weekly Muslim Friday prayers.

“At Larba Nath Erathen, the center of the fire in Kabylia, experts only managed to identify 19 of the 25 bodies,” said AFP Saeed Salhi, vice president of the Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights. Male (LADDH).

“Families are looking for them, it adds pain to the pain,” he underlines.

The toll is likely to increase, as “there are also the missing”, testified Telephone Jemel, a resident of the village.

Situated at a height, the municipality of Larba Nath Erathen brings together about twenty villages which are mainly inhabited by hill plantations.

forest fire destroyed everything

The fire destroyed everything. “It’s terrible, there are no other words”, protests a retired Gemel, who regrets the authorities’ lack of preparation while the fires happen again and again.

The result: villages were completely evacuated, houses burned down, herds burned. There was chaos and devastation everywhere.

“To rule is to foresee. Except at home where we take action every time after a disaster, when the damage is done,” opposes the sixty-year-old.

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After coming to Algiers to shelter his family before leaving to help out on the farm, Mohand struggles to remember the horrors he faced: “I’ve never seen this in my life. Families have lost everything. absolutely everything”.

“I still smell the smell of burnt flesh. It is unbearable,” he admits, his throat tight.

Many municipalities in the Tizi Ouzou area do not have electricity, gas and telephones.

Several petrol pumps are closed after a gas station explosion in Ain el Hammam killed five members of the same family who were in their car.

Another fear expressed by villagers: the risk of an increase in Covid-19 cases. In the fight against flames, obstacle gestures cannot be respected.

Africa’s largest country, Algeria, has only 4.1 million hectares of forest, with a low afforestation rate of 1.76%.

Every year, the north of the country is affected by wildfires. In 2020, about 44,000 hectares of copis went up in smoke.

The increasing fires around the world are linked to various events anticipated by scientists due to global warming.

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