Morocco has just acquired three Canadairs to strengthen its firefighting arsenal as the country faces intense forest fires that have ravaged several thousand hectares of forest cover this summer.
In a statement to MoroccoLatestNews, the Director General of the National Water and Forests Agency, Abderrahim Houmy, said that an agreement to purchase Canadair planes “has been concluded and one of the three planes should arrive this year”.
The other two devices for their part should be received later, “they will arrive successively during 2023”, he specified.
Abderrahim Houmy also specified that the manufacturer of these planes “no longer produces enough of it”explaining this to the internal situation prevailing within the company, while emphasizing that Morocco has been proactive in its ordering of Canadairs, which allows it to be at the top of the list for the reception of these planes.
The kingdom quickly took to heart the problem of the forest fires which it suffered this summer. It is in such circumstances where fires broke out in several regions simultaneously that the interest of being equipped with more Canadairs was felt.
The use of Canadairs, of which Morocco already has a fleet, has proven to be more advantageous than water bombers to fight the flames in the forest environment.
As a reminder, several fires broke out in various regions of Morocco, in particular in the north, and the south-east, in particular in Larache and “the National Water and Forests Agency intervened within the framework of an integrated management process with the rest of the stakeholders”indicated the head of the Department of Water and Forests, stressing the existence of an “obligation of coordination and participation” in such situations.
If the teams on the ground and the various responders (civil protection, royal gendarmerie, auxiliary forces) were able to control the impressive fires which ravaged part of the north, forcing the inhabitants to abandon their place of residence, the director general of the Agency national waters and forests estimates that“there is no partial evaluation of the agency’s intervention, but rather a collective success to which all the teams, authorities and military and civilian institutions have contributed”.
Right now, at the agency level, efforts are focused “to provide an overall assessment of all the fires” that have broken out in the kingdom.
Local and central committees are studying the causes of the fire, through some selected experiments, where an in-depth study will be launched to understand the fire and the causes of its spread, Al Homy said.
The intervention of teams specializing in the fight against fires made it possible to avoid an environmental catastrophe which threatened the vital forest zone of the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region.
The Moroccan official stressed that measures will be taken to reduce the risk of natural disasters, especially those related to forest fires.
This year, and for the first time, the wrestling teams used a “drone” to monitor and track fires. Their use has made it possible to prioritize aerial and ground interventions during fires, and will subsequently help in the study and analysis of infrared images.