ALGIERS-Wildfires raging across northern Algeria amid a heatwave have killed 15 people, injured 26 others and forced mass evacuations, the government said on Monday. The North African country has recorded 97 fires across 16 provinces, the worst in Bejaia, Bouira and Jijel, but most have been put out, according to the interior ministry. Fanned by strong winds and with temperatures hitting 48 degrees Celsius (118 Fahrenheit), the fires have raged through residential areas. Some 1,500 people had been evacuated from the three provinces east of the capital Algiers, according to the ministry.
It added that 7,500 firefighters and 350 firetrucks were mobilised to fight the flames, aided by aerial fire-fighting support. The ministry said operations were underway to extinguish fires in six provinces, calling on citizens to “avoid areas affected by the fires and to use the toll-free numbers available for any reports” of new blazes. “Civil protection services remain mobilised until the fires are completely extinguished,” the ministry said.