Algeria wildfires kill up to 34 as blaze continues

Our coverage continues of the devastating fire that is currently tearing through the Algeria-Tunisia border.

Firefighters are continuing to battle the wildfires, which are currently situated near the town of Melloula in northwestern Tunisia. The Algeria Interior Ministry has reported that there are 97 fires burning, affecting forests and agricultural areas in 16 governorates on the country’s eastern coast.

Dozens of trapped families have been evacuated from the Bejaia governorate, 250km from the Algerian capital of Algiers, meanwhile, rescue operations continue in other areas ravaged by the forest fires. The families are being relocated to hostels, nurseries and public spaces within safe spaces.

Though hundreds have been saved, the Algerian Defence Ministry has reported that at least 34 people have been killed and 25 injured in the wildfires in the Beni Kesila area of Bejaia as rescue operations continue to roll out.

The situation is expected to worsen, with a record heatwave to this the countries in the coming days, with temperatures reaching 48 Celsius in 31 governates, which will create devastating knock-on effects to individuals’ health – even those outside of the wildfire range.

The situation is a repeat of a similar border fire which took place in 2022.

Fire season typically begins in early June for the country, expected to last for approximately 22 weeks.

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