BEIRUT — A major fire that broke out Wednesday in the forested areas around the town of Hrar in Akkar, North Lebanon, was brought under control on Thursday, L’Orient Today’s correspondent in the region reported.
Caretaker Minister of Environment Nasser Yassin requested the intervention of the Lebanese Army Thursday morning to help extinguish the fire.
The fire was almost completely under control by noon Thursday, but not before causing significant environmental damage: about 1,000 trees and plants went up in smoke.
More than 40 volunteers, from teams of firefighters with the Civil Defense and the Jurd al-Kaytaa Federation of Municipalities, intervened to help nearby residents contain the flames. They are now working on cooling the area to prevent further fire outbreaks.
The cause of the fire remains unknown. High winds, bumpy roads and thick vegetation made it difficult to extinguish the fires, which burned for over 24 hours.
Many forest fires occur annually in Lebanon, especially during the summer and autumn seasons, and are often caused by humans.
Civil Defense teams and volunteer groups often intervene to extinguish fires but are frequently struggle with an equipment shortage due to the unprecedented economic crisis in the country.
Organizations such as the National Council for Scientific Research in Lebanon (CNRS) warn of the increased risk of fires spreading in the country.
Reporting contributed by Michel Hallak.