Foreign teams help Lebanese put out fire in mountains

Foreign teams help Lebanese put out fire in mountains

3 October 2007

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Jordan, Italy and Cyprus have sent in firemen equipped with helicopters to help the Lebanese in putting out wide-scale fire that turned large parts of the mountainous forests into ashes, Lebanon’s local NBN TV reported Wednesday.

Officials said the Jordanian, Italian and Cypriot teams are aiding the firemen, civil defense groups and troops of the Lebanese army in battling blazes raging in the pine wood in Qobbayah in the north.

Colonel Darweesh Hobeika, in charge of Lebanese Civil Defense, said the authorities called for the aerial foreign aid because the teams on the ground could not reach some remote spots where fire were raging out of control.

The series of fire, which broke out late Monday, have destroyed vast areas of land and forests, particularly in mountainous regions southeast and northeast of the Lebanese capital. Ancient trees were also ruined.

Even though fire stroke Lebanon at this time of the year, the size and intensity of the blazes that devoured the country from Tuesday exceeded those for the whole of the previous decades, according to local media reports.

The report added that at least 54 people have been treated from suffocation and injuries sustained in the fire, some fire had reached their homes.

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