According to local officials, firefighters, soldiers and volunteers are continuing Saturday to put out fresh forest fires ravaging northern Algeria.
According to Algerian leaders, most of the fires were of “criminal” origin and firefighters were arrested.
Experts and witnesses, however, point to the lack of assessment and prevention by government officials in the wake of the phenomenon, which is repeated every year in Algeria.
In addition, these wildfires are currently intensifying due to the intense heat.
The Ministry of Defense held two ceremonies on Saturday to honor the 33 soldiers who fought the blaze, one at the Algiers Military Hospital, the other in the presence of the Chief of Staff, Saad Chenegriha, and the other, Constantine (Northeast).
“These heroes sacrificed their lives for the motherland and saved their fellow citizens from the firing attacks in various parts of our country,” Director General of Defense Communications Boulem Madi announced during the funeral on the third and final day of national mourning. .
President Abdelmadjid Tebboun visited the wounded, civilians and soldiers who were admitted to the hospital in Algiers on Saturday and promised to implement all means necessary for their care.
In the absence of a new official global report, reports from local officials, the Ministry of Civil Protection and Defense show a total of 90 deaths from Monday.
Civil Protection reported “42 ongoing fires in 15 valleys”, of which 14 were in TG Ozou and 7 in Bezana, the most affected area in Kabilia. “Nine of the 4 fires are under control,” the same source said in a tweet.
One hundred fires were detected Thursday across the country.
“Air Group of Civil Protection and Army helicopters carried out 235 water bombings, 172 operations were not carried out by water bombers in TG-Ozhou, Bazana and Gizel,” Civil Protection said.
Two French water bombers – made available by Paris via the European Union (EU) – as well as a liaison plane, heavily intercepted in Kabilia on Thursday and Friday.
According to the official APS agency, the Spanish water bomber arrived on Saturday and a second is likely to occur in the next few hours.
According to Mr. Tebboun, a third device from Switzerland should be set up soon.
In the last 24 hours, a total of 43 houses in 20 prefabricated areas have dried up.
About 7,500 civil protection agents were deployed with 490 fire vans and three helicopters.
Five large MI-26 helicopters of Russian origin were also assembled by the army.
According to the special site Mena Defense, the Algerian army hopes to buy eight Russian water bombers Beriv B-200. According to local media, three of them arrived in Algiers on Saturday.
Russia has offered to make four water bombers available to Algeria, according to the APS. They should reach the site “in the next few hours”.
When faced with tragedy, gestures of solidarity of civil society are expressed on the ground and international aid is maintained.
“We get help everywhere. I see trucks and vans from all over Algeria,” encourages a young volunteer quoted by the French-speaking daily Liberte.
Meteorological services forecast temperatures of up to 48 degrees in the country, which is already suffering from water pressure.
The largest country in Africa, Algeria has only 4.1 million hectares of forest, with 1.76% less forest cover.
Every year, wildfires in the north are affected. In 2020, nearly 44,000 hectares of copies were lost in the smoke.
Rising fires around the world are linked to various phenomena predicted by scientists due to global warming.