Algerian President sets enquiry to seek reasons behind frequent forest fires

In the wake of the destructive forest fires in the country in the past few months that has significantly ravaged thousands of hectares across Algeria, a statement from the Presidential office stated that on August 2, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has ordered an “immediate” investigation into the matter.

The Presidential office stated that the enquiry aims to “determine the causes of fires that have ravaged vast stretches of forest.

According to Algeria’s forestry agency, about 1,216 fires between June 1 and August 1, destroying some 8,778 hectares has been recorded within the territorial borders of Algeria.

The blazes peaked late last month with 66 fires reported on July 27, and civil defense helicopters were called in to extinguish them, the forestry service added.

About the property loss as a result of the chain of forest fires, the statement from President Abdelmadjid Tebboune’s office made no mention of houses being destroyed in the catastrophic incidents.

With an intention to track forest fires and in lieu with the efforts to prevent and control them, Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad set up a monitoring unit on July 30.

Forest fires have been quite common in Algeria and the country in recent years has repeatedly experienced forest fires. In 2019, an enquiry to seek the cause behind the fires were established, the results of which have not been made public yet.

A study by the geography journal ‘Mediterranee’ found that a lack of forests and creeping desertification were making the fires particularly disastrous.

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