Lebanese Army, Civil Defense workers battle forest fires

Lebanese Army,Civil Defense workers battle forest fires

7 November 2007

published by www.dailystar.com.lb

Jezzine, Lebanon — Using rudimentaryequipment, the Lebanese Army attemped to extinguish a fire which had eruptedagain in one of the forests surrounding the mountain town of Jezzine in theSouth on Wednesday. Lebanese Army helicopters have been busy extinguishingblazes which raged across Lebanon since the start of the week. A wave of forestfires has hit Lebanon in the past three months, damaging large swathes offorests.

Photo: Mohammed Zaatari

On Tuesday, army helicopters and CivilDefense units managed to contain fires across Lebanon, including ones in theChouf region.

Environmental expert Wilson Rizk told TheDaily Star that the wave of fires was due to two main reasons: the low levels ofhumidity Lebanon has witnessed in the past trimester as well as prevailinghot-air masses.

“However,” Rizk added, “theLebanese are to be blamed, too, because they are neglectful and not sonature-friendly.”

He said that the friction of treebranches with nearby electricity cables could cause fires.

Rizk also did not dismiss the possibilityof arson as the cause for the blazes.

Interior Minister Hassan Sabaa said in anews conference two weeks ago that the fires were deliberately set.

“Having all those fires arise at thesame time raises a lot of question marks,” Rizk said.

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