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)