iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Wildfires in Algeria: problems and challenges

Ouahiba Meddour-Sahar   

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 8, Issue 6, Pages 818-826 (2015)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1279-007
Published: Mar 25, 2015 - Copyright © 2015 SISEF

Research Articles

In the scenario of the Mediterranean area, where about 54 000 fires and 0.4 million hectares of forest are burned and annually registered (2006-2010), the rank for Algeria is non-negligible with 4.11 million hectares of forest. The annual number of fires and the size of area burned depict a critical situation, which became rather dramatic in 2012. Climate change projections and the estimated changes to wildfire risk for the future decades (2030-2060) indicate that the entire Maghreb region, including Algeria, will be among the most affected areas of the Mediterranean. Longer fire seasons will be experienced and extended by an additional month with each passing year. Despite Algeria’s recent investments in technical means for controlling forest fires, the current suppression-oriented model seems unable to cope with such a phenomenon. Furthermore, the model is unfit in view of the approaching scenario, when fire-exclusion policies need to be complemented with fuel-reduction techniques and fire prevention management. This study aims to establish an understanding of the context and public policy issues related to wildfire management in Algeria. Data were collected by distributing questionnaires to foresters with the objective of identifying obstacles and constraints hindering the efficacy of pro-active measures. Analysis of the data gathered indicates that Algerian foresters are well aware of the importance of prevention, contrasting with current governmental policies that are predominantly oriented towards improving the technical extinction apparatus. A SWOT analysis suggests possible strategic options for improving the efficiency of wildfire control by building on strengths, eliminating weaknesses, exploiting opportunities, and mitigating threats. The results of this study may be adapted to other countries with similar problems as those of Algeria.


Algeria, Forest Fires, MENA, Prevention Policy, SWOT Analysis

Authors’ address

Ouahiba Meddour-Sahar
Department of Agricultural Sciences, University Mouloud Mammeri, Box 17 RP, 15000 Tizi Ouzou (Algeria)

Corresponding author

Ouahiba Meddour-Sahar


Meddour-Sahar O (2015). Wildfires in Algeria: problems and challenges. iForest 8: 818-826. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1279-007

Academic Editor

Davide Ascoli

Paper history

Received: Mar 04, 2014
Accepted: Dec 10, 2014

First online: Mar 25, 2015
Publication Date: Dec 01, 2015
Publication Time: 3.50 months

Breakdown by View Type

(Waiting for server response...)

Article Usage

Total Article Views: 48911
(from publication date up to now)

Breakdown by View Type
HTML Page Views: 39871
Abstract Page Views: 2552
PDF Downloads: 4916
Citation/Reference Downloads: 21
XML Downloads: 1551

Web Metrics
Days since publication: 3370
Overall contacts: 48911
Avg. contacts per week: 101.60

Article Citations

Article citations are based on data periodically collected from the Clarivate Web of Science web site
(last update: Feb 2023)

Total number of cites (since 2015): 12
Average cites per year: 1.33


Publication Metrics

by Dimensions ©

Articles citing this article

List of the papers citing this article based on CrossRef Cited-by.

Aguilar S, Galiana L, Lázaro A (2009)
Analysis of wildfire risk management from a territorial policies perspective: strengths and weaknesses in the European framework. In: Proceedings of the “3rd International Symposium on Fire Economics, Planning, and Policy: Common Problems and Approaches” (González Cabán ed). Albany (California) November 2009. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-227, Pacific Southwest Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Albany, CA, USA, pp. 261-272.
Online | Gscholar
Bekdouche F, Sahnoune M, Krouchi F, Achour S, Guemati N, Derridj A (2011)
The contribution of legumes to post-fire regeneration of Quercus suber and Pinus halepensis forests in North-eastern Algeria. La Terre et la Vie - Revue d’écologie 66 (1): 43-54.
Online | Gscholar
Blinn CR, Jakes PJ, Sakai M (2007)
Forest landowner cooperatives in the United States: a local focus for engaging landowners. Journal of Forestry 105 (5): 245-250.
Online | Gscholar
Boström C, Sebastián A, Hernando Lara C, Planelles R, Buffoni A, Alves R, Jappiot M and San Miguel Ayanz J (2013)
Forest and land management options to prevent unwanted forest fires. In: “Trees, Forested Landscapes and Grazing Animals. A European Perspective on Woodlands and Grazed Treescapes” (Rotheram JD ed). Routledge, New York, USA, pp. 180-188.
Colaço MC (2005)
Prevenção de Incêndios Florestais: Um estudo sobre a formação dos técnicos florestais [Forest Fires prevention: a study on the training of forestry technicians]. Trabalho de Investigação tutelado do doutoramento inter-universitário em Educação Ambiental, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain, pp. 111. [in Spanish]
Colaço MC, Rego FC, Meira P (2006)
Forest fire prevention: a study about the forest technician’s training. In: Proceedings of the “5th International Conference on Forest Fire Research” (Viegas DX ed). Figueira da Foz (Portugal), 27-30 November 2006, pp. 13. [CD Rom]
Colaço MC, Castro Rego F, Meira P, Santos T (2005)
What are the opinions of foresters in Portugal regarding fire? Results of a questionnaire. In: Proceedings of the “2nd International Conference on Prevention Strategies of Fire in Southern Europe”. Barcelona (Spain), 9-11 May 2005. CTFC/COSE/USSE, Barcelona, Spain, pp. 5.
Online | Gscholar
Colombo SJ (2006)
How OMNR staff perceive risks related to climate change and forests. Research Note 2, Ontario Forest Research Institute, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Sault Ste. Marie, ON, Canada, pp. 8.
Online | Gscholar
De Ribbe C (1869)
Des incendies de forêts dans la région des Maures et de l’Esterel (Provence). Leurs causes. Leur histoire. Moyens d’y remédier [Forest fires in the Maures and Esterel area (Provence). Their causes, their history. ways to address them] (2nd edn). Librairie Agricole, Société Forestière des Maures, Paris, France, pp. 140. [in French]
Online | Gscholar
EFIMED (2012)
The fight against forest fires: an inconvenient truth? EFIMED network news, Mediterranean Regional Office, European Forest Institute, Barcelona, Spain, pp. 1.
Online | Gscholar
European Commission (2013)
Forest fires in Europe, Middle East and North Africa 2012. Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, pp. 109.
Online | Gscholar
FAO/JRC/CFS (2008)
Workshop on wildfires in the Mediterranean region: prevention and regional cooperation. Sabaudia (Italy) 13-15 May 2008. FAO, Rome, Italy, pp. 22.
Online | Gscholar
FAO (2011)
Community-based fire management: a review. FAO Forestry paper 166. FAO, Rome, Italy, pp. 81.
Online | Gscholar
FAO (2013)
State of Mediterranean Forests 2013. FAO, Rome, Italy, pp. 173.
Online | Gscholar
Fernandes PM (2010)
Creating fire-smart forests and landscapes. Forêt méditerranéenne 31 (4): 417-422.
Online | Gscholar
Fernandes PM (2013)
Fire-smart management of forest landscapes in the Mediterranean basin under global change. Landscape and Urban Planning 110: 175-182.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Forest and land management options to prevent unwanted forest fires. Technical report 1 (WP1): compilation and preliminary analysis of actual knowledge/practice in forest fire prevention. Web site, pp. 123.
Online | Gscholar
Gerasimov Y, Karjalainen T (2008)
Development program for improving wood procurement in Northwest Russia based on SWOT analysis. Baltic Forestry 14 (1): 87-92.
Online | Gscholar
Ghazinoory S, Abdi M, Azadegan-Mehr M (2011)
SWOT methodology: a state-of-the-art review for the past, a framework for the future. Journal of Business Economics and Management 12 (1): 24-48.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Ghiculescu D, Marinescu N, Ghiculescu D, Nanu S (2011)
Computer aided SWOT analysis applied to SMES using concentrated energies technologies. In: Proceedings of the “International Conference on Manufacturing Science and Education - MSE 2011”. Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, LBUS (Romania) 2-5 jun 2011. Sibiu, Romania, pp. 213-216.
Online | Gscholar
Giannakopoulos C, Le Sager P, Bindi M, Moriondo M, Kostopoulou E, Goodess CM (2009)
Climatic changes and associated impacts in the Mediterranean resulting from a 2 °C global warming. Global Planetary Change: 209-224.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Guettouche MS, Derias A, Boutiba M, Bounif M, Guendouz M, Boudella A (2011)
A fire risk modelling and spatialization by GIS. Journal of Geographic Information System 3 (3): 254-265.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Haddouche I, Benhanifia K, Gacemi M (2011)
Analyse spatiale de la régénération forestière post-incendie de la forêt de Fergoug à Mascara, Algérie [Spatial analysis of post-fire regeneration in the forest of Fergoug in Mascara, Algeria]. Bois et Forêts des Tropiques 65 (307): 23-31. [in French]
Online | Gscholar
Herrero G (2009)
Assessment of the growing importance of wildland-urban interfaces in fire risk management: wui regional patterns in Spain. In: Proceedings of the “3rd International Symposium on Fire Economics, Planning, and Policy: Common Problems and Approaches” (González Cabán A ed). Albany, California, November 2009. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-227, Pacific Southwest Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Albany, CA, USA, pp. 238-248.
Online | Gscholar
Herrero G, Lázaro A, Montiel C (2009)
A comparative assessment of the European forest policies and their influence in wildfire management. In: Proceedings of the “3rd International Symposium on Fire Economics, Planning, and Policy: Common Problems and Approaches” (González Cabán A ed). Albany (CA, USA), Nov 2009. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-227, Pacific Southwest Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Albany, CA, USA, pp. 273-282.
Online | Gscholar
Khader M, Benabdeli K, Mederbal K, Fekir Y, Gueddim R, Mekkous B (2009)
Etude du risque incendie à l’aide de la géomatique: cas de la forêt de Nesmoth (Algérie) [Study of fire risk by geomatics: the case of the Nesmoth forest (Algeria)]. Mediterranea Serie de Estudios Biológicos, Época II 20: 10-38. [in French]
Online | Gscholar
Lampin-Maillet C, Jappiot M, Long M, Bouillon C, Morge D, Ferrier JP (2010)
Mapping wildland-urban interfaces at large scales integrating housing density and vegetation aggregation for fire prevention in the South of France. Journal of Environmental Management 91: 732-741.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Likert R (1932)
A technique for the measurement of attitudes. Archives of Psychology 140: 1-55.
Online | Gscholar
Lovreglio R, Meddour-Sahar O, Leone V (2014)
Goat grazing as a wildfire prevention tool: a basic review. iForest 7: 260-268.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Lu W (2010)
Improved SWOT approach for conducting strategic planning in the construction industry. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management 136 (12): 1317-1328.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Madoui A, Gehu JM, Alatou D (2006)
L’effet du feu sur la composition des pinèdes de Pinus halepensis Mill. dans le Nord de la forêt de Bou-Taleb, Algérie [Fire effects on the composition of Pinus halepensis communities in the North of Bou-Taleb forest, Algeria]. Ecologia Mediterranea 32: 5-13. [in French]
Online | Gscholar
Marino E, Hernando C, Planelles R, Madrigal J, Guijarro M, Sebastián A (2014)
Forest fuel management for wildfire prevention in Spain: a quantitative SWOT analysis. International Journal of Wildland Fire 23 (3): 373-384.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Meddour-Sahar O (2014)
Les feux de forêt en Algérie: analyse du risque, étude des causes, évaluation du dispositif de défense et des politiques de gestion [Forest fires in Algeria: risk analysis, study of the causes, evaluation of defence apparatus and management policies]. Thèse de Doctorat en Sciences Agronomiques, Université Mouloud Mammeri, Tizi Ouzou, Algeria, pp. 256. [in French]
Online | Gscholar
Meddour-Sahar O, Lovreglio R, Meddour R, Leone V, Derridj A (2013a)
Fire and people in three rural communities in Kabylia (Algeria): results of a survey. Open Journal of Forestry 3: 30-40.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Meddour-Sahar O, González Cabán A, Meddour R, Derridj A (2013b)
Wildfire management policies in Algeria: present and future needs, public policies. In: Proceedings of the “4th International Symposium on Fire Economics, Planning and Policy: Climate Change and Wildfires” (González-Cabán A ed). Albany (CA) Nov 2012. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-245, Pacific Southwest Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Albany, CA, USA, pp. 245-382.
Online | Gscholar
Meddour-Sahar O, Meddour R, Leone V, Lovreglio R, Derridj A (2013c)
Analysis of wildfires causes and their motivations in North Algeria: the Delphi method. iForest 6: 247-254.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Megrerouche R (2006)
Sensibilité de la végétation forestière aux incendies: cas de la forêt domaniale de Chettabah - Ain Smara - Constantine [Forest vegetation fire- sensitivity : the case of the forest of Chettabah - Ain Smara - Constantine]. Mémoire de Magistère en Ecologie et Environnement, Université de Constantine, Constantine, Algeria, pp. 106. [in French]
Online | Gscholar
MIO/ECSDE (1987)
The Athens declaration on forest fires (2 April 1987). MIO-ECSDE, Mediterranean Information Office for Enviroment, Culture and Sustainable Development, Athens, Greece, pp. 2.
Online | Gscholar
Mitroff I, Turoff M (1975)
Philosophical and methodological foundations of Delphi. In: “The Delphi Method: Techniques and Applications”. (Linstone H, Turoff M eds). Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA, USA, pp. 17-35.
Online | Gscholar
Mogas J, Riera P (2001)
The economic value of risk reduction of forest fires in Spain. In: Proceedings of the “IUFRO International Symposium on the economics of natural hazards in forestry”. Solsona (Spain) 7-10 Jun 2001, pp. 8.
Online | Gscholar
Mohamad MI, Nekooie MA, Taherkhani R, Saleh AL, Mansur SA (2012)
Exploring the potential of using industrialized building system for floating urbanization by SWOT analysis. Journal of Applied Sciences 12: 486-491.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Molina D, Castellnou M, García-Marco D, Salgueiro A (2010)
Improving fire management success through fire behavior specialists. In: “Towards Integrated Fire Management-Outcomes of the European Project Fire Paradox”. (Silva JS, Rego F, Fernandes P, Rigolot E eds). Research Report 23, European Forest Institute, Joensuu, Finland, pp. 105-119.
Online | Gscholar
Montiel C, Galiana L (2005)
Forest policy and land planning policy in Spain: a regional approach. Forest Policy and Economics 7 (2): 131-142.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Montiel C, Herrero G (2010)
An overview of policies and practices related to fire ignitions at the European Union level. In: “Towards Integrated Fire Management-Outcomes of the European Project Fire Paradox”. (Silva JS, Rego F, Fernandes P, Rigolot E eds). European Forest Institute, Joensuu, Finland, Research Report 23, pp. 35-46.
Online | Gscholar
Moreira F, Viedma O, Arianoutsou M, Curt T, Koutsias N, Rigolot E, Barbati A, Corona P, Vaz P, Xanthopoulos G, Mouillot F, Bilgili E (2011)
Landscape-wildfire interactions in southern Europe: implications for landscape management. Journal of Environmental Management 92: 2389-2402.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Ohadi S, Dorbeiki M, Bahmanpour H (2013)
Environmental strategies of nature tourism in biosphere reserves: a case study of Miankaleh, Iran. European Journal of Experimental Biology 3 (5): 176-182.
Online | Gscholar
Ouelmouhoub S, Benhouhou S (2007)
Evolution floristique des subéraies incendiées dans la région d’El Kala (Nord-est algérien) [Post fire floristic evolution of cork-oak forests in the El Kala region (northeastern Algeria)]. Ecologia Mediterranea 33: 85-94. [in French]
Online | Gscholar
Plana E (2010)
Integration of fire risk in land use planning and forest management tools in Catalonia (NW Spain), In: Report of the “Forest Europe 2010. Assessment of Forest Fire Risks and Innovative Strategies for Fire Prevention workshop”. Rhodes (Greece) 4-6 May 2010, pp. 48.
Online | Gscholar
Raftoyannis Y, Nocentini S, Marchi E, Calama Sainz R, Garcia Guemes C, Pilas I, Peric S, Amaral Paulo J, Moreira-Marcelino Ana C, Costa-Ferreira M, Kakouris E, Lindner M (2014)
Perceptions of forest experts on climate change and fire management in European Mediterranean forests. iForest 7: 33-41.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Rauch P (2007)
SWOT analyses and SWOT strategy formulation for forest owner cooperation in Austria. European Journal of Forest Research 126: 413-420.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Sebastián-López A, Carmen Hernando L, Planelles R, Buffoni A, Boström C, Alves R, Jappiot M, San Miguel Ayanz J (2011)
EU-FIRESMART: Forest and land management options to prevent unwanted forest fires. In: Proceedings of the “Wildfire 2011. The 5th International Wildland Fire Conference”. Sun City (South Africa) 9-13 May 2011, pp. 1-11.
Online | Gscholar
Silva JS, Rego FC, Fernandes P, Rigolot E (2010a)
Introducing the Fire Paradox. In: “Towards Integrated Fire Management-Outcomes of the European Project Fire Paradox”. (Silva JS, Rego F, Fernandes P, Rigolot E eds). Research Report 23, European Forest Institute, Joensuu, Finland, pp. 2-6.
Online | Gscholar
Silva JS, Rego FC, Fernandes P, Rigolot E (2010b)
Solving the Fire Paradox. Regulating the wildfire problems by the wise use of fire. In: “Towards Integrated Fire Management-Outcomes of the European Project Fire Paradox”. (Silva JS, Rego F, Fernandes P, Rigolot E eds). Research Report 23, European Forest Institute, Joensuu, Finland, pp. 219-228.
Online | Gscholar
Slimani S, Touchan R, Derridj A, Kherchouche D, Gutiérrez E (2014)
Fire history of Atlas cedar (Cedrus atlantica Manetti) in Mount Chélia, northern Algeria. Journal of Arid Environments 104: 116-123.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Suh J, Emtage NF (2005)
Identification of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the community-based forest management program. Annals of Tropical Research 27 (1): 55-66.
Online | Gscholar
Taylor D (1997)
Seeing the forests for more than the trees. Environmental Health Perspectives 105 (11): 1186-1191.
Online | Gscholar
Torres-Manso F, Fernandes P, Pinto R, Botelho H, Monzon A (2014)
Regional livestock grazing, human demography and fire incidence in the Portuguese landscape. Forest Systems 23 (1): 15-21.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Vélez R (2000)
La defensa contra incendios forestales. Fundamentos y experiencias [Wildfires defence: fundamentals and experiences]. McGraw-Hill/Interamericana de España S.A.U., Madrid, Spain, pp. 1281. [in Spanish]
Weihrich H (1982)
The TOWS matrix: a tool for situational analysis. Long Range Planning 15 (2): 54-66.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Williamson TB, Price DT, Beverly J, Bothwell PM, Parkins J, Patriquin N, Pearce CV, Stedman RC, Volney WJA (2005)
A framework for assessing vulnerability of forest-based communities to climate change. Information report NOR-X-414, Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service Northern Forestry Centre, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, pp. 51.
Online | Gscholar
Xavier A, De Belém Martins M (2010)
The agro-forestry farms’ socioeconomic characterization for a forest fire prevention and management model. In: Proceedings of the “3rd WSEAS International Conference on Climate Changes, Global Warming, Biological Problems” (Panagopoulos T ed). University of Algarve, Faro (Portugal) 3-5 nov 2010. WSEAS Press, Faro, Portugal, pp. 57-63.
Online | Gscholar
Zarraga Moreno JL (1988)
Los incendios forestales y las actitudes de la poblacion de las comarcas afectadas [Wildfires and the attitudes of the populations of the affected regions]. Servicio de Estudios e Informes del IARA, Sevilla, Spain, pp. 99. [in Spanish]

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. More info