GFMC: Morocco

MoroccoForestFire Emergency

30 August 2004

On 23 August 2004 forest fires started in the provinces of Sidi Kacem and Chefchaouen, Morocco, and rapidly spread to a size of more than 4500 ha. More than 2300 ha of forests were completely burnt. On 24 August King, Mohammed VI, appealed for international assistance. Spain and France sent firefighting aircraft which completed their missions successfully on 26 August 2004.

However, the Moroccan Civil Protection authorities are still in an Alert Phase. New outbreaks of fire spots have been reported over the weekend and further fires can be expected in the coming days.

The authorities have approached UNEP OCHA for assistance to be prepared in controlling the situation in the coming days. The Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC) has offered to support the Government of Morocco with an assessment of the situation and technical advice through the GFMC. The Moroccan authorities will consider this offer and will keep OCHA and the GFMC informed.


European Fire Weather Index, 29 August 2004

European Fire Weather Index, 29-31 August 2004


European Fire Weather Index, 31 August 2004

European Fire Weather Index, 1-3 September 2004

Source: European Forest Fires Information System (EFFIS)

Morocco fires contained, 4500 ha damaged (official)

OUEZZANE, (Northern Morocco), 26 August 2004 — The fires that have broke out in Izaren forest near Sidi Kacem (130 km north of Rabat) are currently under control, said high commissioner for water, forests and the fight of desertification, Abdelalim Lhafi, noting that 4500 hectares were damaged by the blaze.
“Fires were contained but we have to remain vigilant and follow the situation closely,” he told MAP, noting that fire-fighting operations are still ongoing in some zones.
Fires have caused “serious damages” as they have affected a region of 4500 hectares, including 2000 to 2200 that were completely destroyed.
Lhafi blamed the fire on hot desert winds (Chergui) that raised the temperature in the north of the country up to 45 degrees and on the decrease of humidity by 30 percent.
The difficulty to reach this mountainous region hampered fire-fighting operations, which made it necessary to use water-bomber planes.
Efforts to bring the fires under control have been going on since Tuesday when HM king Mohammed VI appealed for assistance from neighboring Mediterranean countries.
Portugal dispatched Wednesday a group of fire experts to Morocco while France and Spain sent water-bomber planes to assist the north African country.
Authorities said earlier that the blaze caused no casualties.
© MAP2004

see also: GFMC News from the Media 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
WP-Backgrounds Lite by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann 1010 Wien