Algeria's civil defense puts out 86 raging fires across the country
A heat wave across the Mediterranean has led to multiple wildfires in Italy and Greece as Algeria suffers the worst consequences.
Firefighters in Algeria battled against a raging fire that killed 34 people north of the country, destroying homes and coastal resorts as it scorched through forests.
Flames raged on in the mountain forests of Kabylia along the Mediterranean coast, as hot winds pushed the fire on while temperatures reached 48 degrees Celsius on Monday.
Locals said evacuating the affected area felt like fleeing from a blowtorch as the fires burnt down cars, shops, and destroyed fields.
The heat wave, which makes the risks of fires more likely, is also being experienced across Northern Africa, southern Europe, and the Levant.
Italy's Civil Protection Department said it battled "extensive fires" in the South while Greece struggles to deal with three wildfires.
Algeria's President, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, sent his condolences to the families of those killed, including 10 soldiers trapped by flames at Beni Ksila, in Bejaia province, the Algerian Ministry of Defense said.
"I have nowhere to go now — my house and that of my son have been completely destroyed by flames," an elderly woman who lost her daughter-in-law and granddaughter told a local TV station in Ait Oussalah.
Authorities fought back against around 100 fires in the last few days and have deployed 8,000 civil defense personnel as well as 500 fire trucks and multiple chartered aircraft.
From the 97 wildfires burning in Algeria, authorities were able to put out 86 fires as they expect temperatures to drop and winds to ease, which would make their work easier.
The public prosecutor of Bejaia ordered an investigation into the causes of the fires to find out whether a fire that injured 80 people was man-made.