Heat waves and successive warning weather reports continue to raise concerns for areas threatened by fires in Morocco. Beni Snassen, ravaged by fire, is the very illustration of this. The authorities announced that the fire, which broke out on Sunday in one of the forests of the commune of Rislane, in the province of Berkane, caused the loss of approximately 1,200 hectares, composed mainly of conifers and junipers.
According to data from local authorities, immediately after the alert, all ground and air crews were mobilized to bring the fire under control. “The fire is not yet completely under control”, we have been told.
The intervention teams made up of elements of civil protection, the Royal Armed Forces, the Auxiliary Forces, the Royal Gendarmerie, the Waters, Forests and Territorial Communities are still mobilized on the spot, the authorities further specified.
This large-scale fire destroyed an area estimated at around 1,200 hectares, of which 60% is mainly made up of secondary species and herbaceous formations, oak and 40% conifers, as well as junipers.
Contacted by MoroccoLatestNews Fr, Fouad Assali, director of reforestation and climatic and environmental risks at the National Agency for Water and Forests, indicated that there were “12 large-scale outbreaks, so far 11 have been brought under control and one is still in the western region.”
About 700 personnel have been mobilized, they are equipped with devices and resources, and “this number of interventionists is very important and sufficient to contain this fire”, believes our interlocutor.
The various parties involved in bringing the fire under control, as well as local communities, are showing caution and stepping up their efforts, Assali stressed, noting that “Land interventions are supported by air with four Canadair planes from the FRA (Royal Air Forces) as well as two Turbo Trash planes belonging to the Royal Gendarmerie”.
Although the authorities managed to bring about 85% of the fire under control, other areas are still at risk due to the current heat wave and strong winds blowing in the region and which are likely to fan the last outbreaks.
“This area is characterized by winds that reach 35 km/h, which has delayed aerial interventions due to the direction and spread of the fire,” explains our interlocutor.
This fire is of great magnitude and “so far, there is still one focus to be circumscribed”, the official noted, saying these areas can “ignite in high winds and fan the fire again and spiral out of control in this sensitive area.”
“The forces present are determined and hope to bring the fire under control in the coming hours”said Fouad Assali, stressing that vigilance is requested from residents of forests and from all summer visitors and visitors, as well as people working in forest environments, in order to take the necessary precautions to avoid the start of forest fires.
It should be noted that the summer surveillance and intervention system remains at its maximum level of mobilization, because the coming days and weeks represent a period of high risk for the spread of fires.