Fires, fanned by strong winds and heat, sweep across North Morocco
About 500 families were evacuated “as a preventive measure” in the provinces of Larache and Taza.
Moroccan firefighters and soldiers were working late Thursday, July 14, to control several fires that progressed during the day in isolated wooded areas in the north of the country.
About 500 families were evacuated “as a preventive measure” in the provinces of Larache and Taza, and no casualties have been reported so far.
The fires are ravaging forests in the provinces of Larache, Ouezzane, Tetouan, and Taza, in northern Morocco, said Fouad Assali, director of the Forest Climate Risk Management Center (CRCF).
An entire village in the Ksar El Kebir region has been destroyed by the flames and at least 1,000 hectares (2,500 acres) of forest have burned in Larache and Ouezzane since Wednesday night, despite continuing efforts to contain the fire.
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Morocco has been hit for several days by a heat wave, combined with an excruciating drought, with temperatures nearing 45 degrees.
"It is the heat that causes this kind of fire. It was yesterday at dawn that the fire reached our village," Ahmed Mezouar, 58, a resident of Larache.
"We are afraid for our houses," he said. "For the moment, we are safe."
Wildfires are also raging in southern Europe, from Portugal and Spain through to France and Greece.
The worse is yet to come as climate change affects soaring temperatures around the globe.