By RFPosted on 05-08-2019Modified on 05-08-2019 at 11:06

In Algeria, the authorities have mobilized water bombers helicopters to extinguish the fire that has affected the region of Constantine since Thursday, August 1. Fires regularly arrive in Algeria during the summer, but last week, the record was particularly heavy.

The last week of July, more than 2,000 hectares went up in smoke. This is the equivalent of all the damage of the month of June. In total since the beginning of summer, nearly 10,000 hectares of forest, 49,000 fruit trees and 7,000 hectares of crops have been destroyed by fires.

The northern regions are affected, from Constantine in the east to Tissemsilt in the west. Violent fires have affected mountainous areas, such as Kabylie or Blida, south of the capital, where a two-year-old died and four people were injured on Thursday.

A lower balance sheet than in 2017

This record, heavy, however, is currently less important than that of summer 2017, where more than 54 000 hectares of vegetation had been destroyed in fires.

According to statements by the authorities, several fire starts in recent weeks are intentional. Civil protection also emphasizes that it is the weakness of prevention that is responsible for the magnitude of the fires.

While criticism of lack of resources is recurrent, Algeria has been using helicopter bombers since 2017. And this year, the number of firefighters has almost doubled.

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