Morocco sends more firefighters, soldiers to tackle blazes in northern forest regions

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Morocco on Saturday mobilized more firefighters and soldiers to tackle forest blazes burning for four days in the remote wooded regions in the north of the kingdom, local officials told AFP.

Half of the 4,660 hectares (11,500 acres) affected by the fires were in Larache province, where the biggest blaze is located and where one person has died.


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More than 1,320 families have been evacuated from 19 villages in the region, said local officials.

Soldiers had been sent to help fight the fires in Ksar El Kebir, one of the most inaccessible regions.

Hundreds of hectares of woodlands had also been destroyed in the neighboring provinces of Ouazzane, Tetouan, and Taza.

Temperatures approaching 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) and high winds have made fighting the fire that much more difficult.

But officials are hoping the reinforcements and a change in weather conditions expected on Sunday may give them some respite.

The North African nation, which is struggling under intense droughts, has in recent days been hit by soaring temperatures approaching 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit).

On the other side of the Strait of Gibraltar, fires are also raging in southern Europe, from Spain and Portugal to France and Greece.

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