A large fire burned through an oasis in Central Morocco, filling the sky with smoke and leaving swathes of scorched foliage in its wake.
Rabat – Over 2,540 palm trees and 1,500 olive trees were consumed by a fire that stretched over 20 hectares of land in the Ziz oasis in the commune of Ratb.
Despite the extensive damage, officials, aided by locals, had the flames under control on Thursday, July 4. Hot summer weather was said to be a factor in the fire.
Despite the substantial damage to foliage, no human lives were lost in the fire.
Civil Protection and the Royal Gendarmerie were able to bring the fire under complete control before the damage continued to spread. Local authorities and members of the population living in the area assisted in the efforts.
The vast palmeraies are nourished by the Oued (River) Ziz river flowing through the Ziz valley en route to the Sahara desert.
Recent heat waves in Morocco are thought to have created favorable conditions for the oasis fire.
Although reports in recent years show forest fires have declined in Morocco due to mitigation efforts, the threat remains an issue. Authorities in the Errachidia province have developed an Action Plan for 2019 to help prevent fires in the region.