Algeria fire death toll increases to at least 38: Reports

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The death toll from forest fires across northern Algeria has risen to at least 38, according to reports from local journalists, Ennahar television and the fire service.

Most of the deaths were in the El Tarf region near the eastern border with Tunisia, where blazes have been fanned by drought and a blistering heatwave.

Since the start of August, 106 fires have broken out in Algeria, destroying more than 2,500 hectares of woodland.

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Interior Minister Kamel Beldjoud said earlier some of the fires were started by people.

Algeria is Africa’s largest country but it only has 4.1 million hectares (10.1 million acres) of forest.

Each year, the north of the country is affected by forest fires, a problem that has worsened due to climate change.

Last year, at least 90 people died in forest fires that ravaged northern Algeria, destroying more than 100,000 hectares of woodland.

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