At least 65 people have been killed in wildfires that erupted in Algeria, east of the capital, Algiers.
The dead include 25 soldiers who were killed trying to save residents.
The fires have been ravaging forests and villages in the Kabyle region, covering the mountainous area with thick clouds of smoke.
Prime Minister Ayman Benabderrahmane told state television the blazes appeared to be “highly synchronised,” adding that “leads one to believe these were criminal acts.”
He called on the international community to help and said the government was in talks with partners to hire planes to extinguish fires. The region has no water-dumping aircraft.
Firefighters and the army are still trying to contain the blazes.
Algeria’s President Abdelmadjid Tebboune said on Twitter that soldiers have saved more than 100 citizens from the blazes in the two areas of the mountainous region.
The Kabyle region, which is situated 60 miles (100km) east of Algeria’s capital of Algiers, is dotted with difficult-to-access villages.
Some villagers were fleeing, while others tried to hold back the flames themselves, using buckets, branches and rudimentary tools.
The deaths and injuries occurred around Kabyle’s capital of Tizi-Ouzou, which is flanked by mountains and in Bejaia, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, the president said.
Earlier, interior minister Kamel Beldjoud travelled to Kabyle to assess the situation and also blamed the fires there on arson.
“Only criminal hands can be behind the simultaneous outbreak of about 50 fires across several localities,” he said, although no arrests have been announced.
He said the priority was to avoid more victims and vowed to compensate those affected.
Like the end of the world
A 92-year-old woman who lives in the Kabyle mountain village of Ait Saada said on Monday night the scene looked like “the end of the world.”
“We were afraid,” Fatima Aoudia said.
“The entire hill was transformed into a giant blaze.”
She compared the scene to bombings by French troops during Algeria’s independence war, which ended in 1962.
“These burned down forests. It’s a part of me that is gone,” she said.
“It’s a drama for humanity, for nature. It’s a disaster.”
And there are more to come. Yesterday, Tunis, the capital of Tunisia set a new heat record as a ferocious heatwave is spreading to southern Europe.
Wildfires in Albania, North Macedonia and Kosovo
Firefighters managed to control a huge fire that broke out Monday night near the village of Kalimash in Albania and threatened the main access to neighbouring Kosovo.
The fire engulfed the area above the Thirrë-Kalimash Tunnel, burning trees and shrubbery.
No injuries occurred and traffic was able resume some hours later.
In North Macedonia, dozens of wildfires have followed a heatwave that saw the highest temperatures in decades.
On Tuesday firefighters were battling a fire in the village of Saraj, on the outskirts of capital Skopje.
Over the past few days thousands of acres of pine, beech and oak forests have been decimated and officials said that five men have been arrested on suspicion of arson.
British Columbia wildfires: Over 650,000 hectares burned
Since April 1, there have been 1,451 wildfires in BC that have burned just over 650,000 hectares of land.
Currently, there are 260 active wildfires and more than 3,500 firefighters and other personnel are currently assigned to wildfires throughout the province.
As a result of wildfires, there are 63 evacuation orders and 108 evacuation alerts in place that are affecting 6,219 and 31,902 properties respectively.
For all the latest information on BC’s constantly evolving wildfire situation, click this link.
Greece wildfires continue to force thousands of evacuations
The burning of wildfires in Greece was like living in a horror movie, one resident said as she was evacuated from the Greek island of Evia by ferry on Sunday.
Thousands of people have fled their homes on Evia as wildfires burned uncontrolled for a sixth day, and ferries were on standby for more evacuations after taking many to safety by sea.
Fires that had threatened the northern suburbs of Athens in recent days died back. But the blaze on Evia, a large island north-east of the capital, quickly burgeoned into several fronts, ripping through thousands of hectares of pristine forest across its northern part, and forcing the evacuation of dozens of villages.
“It’s like a horror movie…but this is not the movie, this is real life,” said Mina, a resident, after boarding a rescue ferry in the island resort area of Pefki. “We are afraid, we feel lost, we feel abandoned, we feel alone,” she added.
Wildfires have erupted in many parts of the country during a week-long heatwave – Greece’s worst in three decades – with searing temperatures and hot winds creating tinder-box conditions.
Dixie Fire largest single California wildfire in state history
The Dixie Fire raging in the Sierra Nevada now has the notorious distinction of being California’s largest wildfire in state history.
According to Cal Fire‘s ranking over the weekend, the Dixie Fire, burning through Butte, Plumas, Lassen and Tehama counties in the northern part of the state, had consumed over 482,047 acres, destroying 873 structures and miraculously, killing no one.
Small towns including Greenville and Canyondom were essentially turned to rubble and ash.
By comparison, the August Complex Lightning Fire last August scorched more than a million acres, but that fire was comprised of several fires in the Mendocino and Humbolt county area.
The cause of the Dixie Fire is under investigation.
Now subscribe to this blog to get more amazing news curated just for you right in your inbox on a daily basis (here an example of our new newsletter).
You should really subscribe to QFiles. You will get very interesting information about strange events around the world.