Heat waves and successive warning weather reports continue to raise concerns in areas threatened by fires in Morocco. Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima, which has experienced the outbreak of two fires in the Fahs-Anjara area in recent days, is the very illustration of this.
So we were quick to sound the alarm. The map published by the National Agency for Water and Forests shows that regions such as Tangier-Assilah and Taounate (at the top of the areas most threatened by fires), are classified in a red level at maximum danger.
Based on the data received by MoroccoLatestNews, the degree of risk is high and the level of vigilance is orange in several regions ranging from Chefchaouen, Larache via Kenitra, Sidi Slimane, Rabat, Khemisset, Taza, Sefrou , Ifrane, Khénifra, Beni Mellal, Azilal, Essaouira or even Agadir Adoutan…
The agency called for “caution and vigilance strongly recommended to residents adjacent to forest areas or those who work there, as well as vacationers and other visitors”to avoid “any activity likely to cause fire outbreaks” And “to quickly inform the local authorities in the event of detection of smoke or suspicious behavior”.
Saïd Benjira, the regional director of Waters and Forests of the Rif, and therefore also of the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region, indicated that the natural qualities available to the region and the various forests extending over approximately 400,000 hectares, ” make it the first in terms of the dangers and the possibility of fires that could break out there“. He told MoroccoLatestNews that “ the northern regions are confronted during the summer with the problem of fires and are the first in terms of fire threats at the national level“. He explains this by “the quality of the plants” found in the region, in particular the medicinal plants, the “secondary” herbs the pines, the cork oak and the cedar, an easily flammable flora.
Benjira is not limited to this observation alone. He also attributes the reasons for this classification also to the high population density in the region, which exceeds 120 people per square kilometer, as well as the high temperature and strong winds. Indeed, the north-east region is known for its phenomenon of attracting citizen mobility since people tend to “moving during the summer, to spend their holidays, which increases the level of risk”.
The Regional Director of Waters and Forests of the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region added: “ that in the light of these data, the Regional Directorate of Water and Forests, together with all stakeholders, including the government and regional authorities, the Royal Gendarmerie, the Auxiliary Forces and the Civil Protection, regularly organize a series of meetings in prevention during these periods conducive to fires. »
He explained that during the last three days, “the Fahs-Anjara zone” witnessed two fires, one on Friday and the second on Sunday. Thanks to a general mobilization, the interventions managed in a short time, with the help of three Canadair planes, to control the two fires to finally contain them. Regarding the losses suffered because of the two fires, Benjira which, according to a preliminary result, affected 30 hectares. The technical teams are still at work to verify the area actually affected, the trend being for a slight increase.
That said, Benjira praised Morocco’s fleet of Canadair planes, pointing out that it plays a ” central and essential role in assisting ground forces and helping to limit the spread of forest fires“. The regional director of water and forests for the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region estimated that climate change in the region where Morocco is located is causing “a rise in temperature and a drop in humidity due to a lack of precipitation, which are indicators that require good preparation and intensified efforts to deal with possible fires.
He concluded that ” all teams must be fully prepared to deal with this scourge, to anticipate and deal with fires“. He further underlined that the past year has been ” exceptional for the Mediterranean region, but Morocco was among the least affected countries compared to countries facing the same climatic conditions“.