1 person killed fighting Morocco forest fire

A forest ranger sprays water from a hose on a forest fire near Ksar el-Kebir, in the Larache region, on July 15, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

RABAT (AFP) - One volunteer firefighter has been killed and another injured in a forest fire in northern Morocco, where new blazes have broken out after a few days of calm, according to local authorities.

The two victims were helping on Monday (July 25) in operations to extinguish a fire in Tanouate province near Fez and Meknes, local sources told AFP.

The injured volunteer was hospitalised but his life is not in danger.

Firefighting services are working overnight to control the blaze after ensuring the safety of villagers, authorities added.

About 33 hectares of forest have been destroyed in the region.

Several outbreaks of fire of varying magnitude have resumed in recent hours in northern Morocco, particularly in Larache province, which was recently devastated by forest fires that left one person dead.

The Moroccan government last Friday released emergency aid of nearly €30 million (S$42 million) to help victims of forest fires and reduce their impact on agricultural activity and the environment.

Forest fires destroyed more than 10,500 hectares in the north of the kingdom in mid-July.

Morocco, which is experiencing severe drought, has been hit by heatwaves over the past month.

Scientists say human-induced climate change is amplifying extreme weather, with global warming leading to increased risks of heatwaves, drought and forest fires.

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