Algeria Declares Three Days of Mourning as Wildfire Death Toll Rises

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune declared three days of national mourning starting from Aug. 12 as the death toll from the raging wildfires rose to 69.

The national mourning would include the suspension of all government activity, except for actions of solidarity.

Algeria Press Service (APS) reported that the raging wildfires in the north of the country jumped to 69, including 28 soldiers deployed to help emergency services.

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Twitter that France would send two Canadair firefighting aircraft and a command plane to the  northern Kabylie region on Aug. 12 to help fight the blaze.

Similarly, Morocco, which has had strained relations with Algeria, said on Twitter that King Mohammed VI ordered the deployment of two Canadair firefighting planes to help Algeria extinguish the flames.

Over 100 fires broke out on Aug. 9 across 17 provinces in the North African country, destroying forested hills and villages, APS reported.

Interior Minister Kamel Beldjoud suspected widespread arson to be behind the fires because they erupted “at the same time in various parts.”

Meteorologists forecast that the temperature would reach up to 46 degrees Celsius and that the heatwave across North Africa would last until the end of the week.


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