Civil Defense battles blazes in Jbeil, Kesrouan

Civil Defense battles blazes in Jbeil, Kesrouan

5 August 2008

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Lebanon — Forest Fires raged in the Jbeil and Kesrouan regions of Kartaba and Yahshoush on Monday, with firefighters still struggling to contain the blazes late into the evening. Brigadier Darwish Hobeika, head of the  Civil Defense, said on Monday that Cyprus dispatched a helicopter that could carry up to five tons of water to help Lebanese teams in combating the fires which started on Friday.

No national fire management strategy exists in Lebanon. Last summer, 4,700 hectares of forest were destroyed in fires across the country.

Last month, massive fires broke out between the towns of Souk al-Gharb and Aley, southeast of Beirut.

Jawad Bou Ghanem, an expert on forest fires with the Association for Forests, Development and Conservation, told The Daily Star in an interview last month that the most probable cause of summer fires was “neglect,” but said that other possible causes exist.

“Weather is never the main cause of fire. Rather, weather, along with wind, contributes to the spread of fire,” Bou Ghanem added.

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