The area of burnt forests recorded, from January 1 to September 21, 2021, a significant reduction of 47% and 11%, in comparison respectively with 2020 and with the ten-year average during the same period, according to the Department of Water and Forests, under the Ministry of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development and Water and Forests.
A total of 285 fire starts affected 2,782 ha of forests from January 1 to September 26, 2021, the department said in a press release, noting that 34% of this area consists mainly of secondary species and herbaceous formations. The region that has experienced the largest area burned is the Rif region (Chefchaouen, Larache, Tanger-Assilah, Fahs Anjra, Mdiq-Fnideq-Tétouan, Ouazzane) with 81 fire starts and a covered area of 1,487 ha, followed by the region of Fès-Boulemane (Fès, Sefrou, Boulemane) with 17 fires and 859 ha covered by fires.
The forest species most affected are the cork oak, the Aleppo pine, and the holm oak, reports the Department of Water and Forests.
The biggest fires of this year are recorded in the forest of Jbel Sougna in the province of Chefchaouen which covered an area of 1100 ha, followed by the two concomitant fires in the province of Sefrou, in Laânaceur (Dayat Iffer) and in Ighezrane (Ribate Al Kheir) with estimated areas of 470 ha and 350 ha respectively.
Thanks to the efforts of the various stakeholders in the prevention and fight against forest fires, the number of fires and the area covered so far remain limited compared to last year and to the ten-year average (2011 -2020).
However, the summer watch and intervention system always remains at its maximum level of mobilization and alert until the arrival of the first rains, underlines the press release.
In addition, ambitious programs for the reconstruction and development of burnt forest areas have already been systematically launched at the national level, in particular that of the Zemzem forest (Prefecture of Mdiq Fnideq) burnt down in 2020, over an area of 1,024 ha. , which is currently experiencing considerable efforts in terms of the rehabilitation of damaged ecosystems, mobilizing a budget of 15.5 million DH (MDH), mainly distributed over the reforestation of 485 ha, the regeneration and cleaning of 515 ha, the opening and the maintenance of 17 km tracks and the fencing of vulnerable sites over a length of 77 km.
It is also about the forest of Jbel Sougna (Province of Chefchaouen) burnt down in 2021, which will be rehabilitated now, with a budget estimated at 23 MDH, including, the reforestation of 200 ha, the natural regeneration of 900 ha, the opening and maintenance of tracks over 17 km, the maintenance of firewalls of 20 km, concludes the press release.