Wildfires raging across Algeria have killed at least 65 people, including 28 soldiers who died while trying to save civilians.
The fires – some of the worst in the country’s history – first broke out in mountain forests and villages east of the capital of Algiers on Monday and spread rapidly, destroying homes and livestock and sending people fleeing from their homes, according to the BBC.
As of Wednesday Aug. 11, there were at least 86 blazes that still needed to be contained across 17 different provinces in Algeria, according to the New York Times.
The flames have been fanned by strong winds as a heatwave sweeps across North Africa, with temperatures forecast to hit 46°C (116°F) this week in the worst-hit area of Tizi Ouzou.
Several of the fires are in the mountainous Kabyle region, which is dotted with remote villages that have had limited water due to rising temperatures, according to AP.
Villagers have fled while others tried to fight the flames themselves as the region has no water-dumping planes.
The government has sent in the army to help battle the fires and evacuate citizens, and the president has declared three days of national mourning for the victims.
Officials have blamed arson for the fires, saying they have arrested and are questioning three people in connection to the fires.
Wildfires were also burning across several Mediterranean countries including Turkey, Greece, Lebanon and Cyprus in recent days.
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