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WILDFIRE

UPDATE: Nearby motorists bulldoze burnt trees at scene of Akkar forest fire

UPDATE: Nearby motorists bulldoze burnt trees at scene of Akkar forest fire

A fire in a forest in Akkar on Aug. 25, 2022. (Credit: Michel Hallak/L'Orient Today)

BEIRUT — People driving cars, trucks and tractors reportedly flocked to the scene of a fire that had raged Thursday morning in the Akkar governorate town of Qobayat, in order to collect the burnt wood, the head of the Environment Council in Qobayat Antoine Daher said in a statement. 

The vehicle drivers had broken down nearby gates, while "roads were open to bring heavy machinery into the forest in broad daylight," Daher said in the statement. 

Thursday's fire had broken out in an oak forest near Qobayat in Akkar, a region that has been heavily affected by forest fires in recent weeks. 

According to our correspondent, Civil Defense workers were quickly deployed to the area to try to contain the blaze, concerned that it would rapidly spread given the high temperatures and the winds blowing in the region.

However, the forest’s land is very uneven and the firefighters and volunteers of the Darb Akkar association, an NGO specialized in wildfires and which has a mountain rescue team, had joined the effort to put out the fire.

Caretaker Environment Minister Nasser Yassin on Thursday evening said he was “monitoring the situation” and had also contacted the army to deploy a helicopter to help extinguish the fire.

Many fires take place each year in the country, especially during the summer and autumn seasons. Many of the blazes that break out are man-made, Yassin said in July. There have already been several fires around Lebanon, and particularly in Akkar, this summer.

Additional reporting by Michel Hallak.


Correction: A previous version of this article stated that the fire was near the town of Harrar, rather than Qobayat. 


BEIRUT — People driving cars, trucks and tractors reportedly flocked to the scene of a fire that had raged Thursday morning in the Akkar governorate town of Qobayat, in order to collect the burnt wood, the head of the Environment Council in Qobayat Antoine Daher said in a statement. The vehicle drivers had broken down nearby gates, while "roads were open to bring heavy machinery into the...