Forest fire in Morocco's north 'under control'

Forest fire in Morocco's north 'under control'
Morocco says it has brought a forest fire that ravaged the country's north for days under 'full control'
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Moroccan officials said fires in the Chefchaouen region were under control [AFP]

Morocco has brought a fire that ravaged the country's north for several days fully under control, a forestry official said Wednesday.

Hundreds of people, including firefighters and soldiers supported by four firefighting planes and other aircraft, battled to the extinguish the blaze which broke out in a forest near the tourist town of Chefchaouen.

The last fires "were totally brought under control" on Wednesday afternoon, after "destroying almost 1,100 hectares (over 2,700 acres) of forest", Rachid El-Anzi, regional director of the water and forestry department, told AFP.

Authorities have opened an investigation to determine the cause of the blaze, which did not cause any deaths.

High temperatures and strong winds are thought to have contributed to the fire.

A heatwave in the North African kingdom in recent days has seen record temperatures at times "exceeding the monthly average by five to 12 degrees", the meteorology department said Tuesday.

Another heatwave last month contributed to the outbreak of 20 fires that burned 1,200 hectares of forest in the kingdom, the water and forestry department said.

Morocco is among several Mediterranean countries that have seen forest fires in recent weeks, including neighbouring Algeria, where at least 90 people have been killed in wildfires.