How come there's not a single firefighter in sight? They should have mobilized all their fire fighting capacities. No ambulances or buses to bring people to safety...
Also, the reporter is so stupid. She was like "if people are awake and can hear us, we ask them to leave". Ummm OK. There's a fire on their doorstep. I'm sure they're having the best sleep of their lives.
MESHREF, Lebanon: A massive fire in the Chouf village of Meshref spread to a nearby university and elementary school Monday, before the government called for Cypriot help to extinguish the blaze. As The Daily Star went to print, the fire had been mostly extinguished, but local residents and firefighters feared that overnight winds would cause the flames to break out again. The Civil Defense, Sidon Fire Department and the Lebanese Army worked to put out the fire in the early hours of Monday, after it reportedly broke out at around 4:30 a.m.
Difficulties were faced, owing to a number of landmines in the area, which date back to the Civil War, according to the regional head of the Civil Defense in Mount Lebanon Hussam Dahrouj.
Interior Minister Raya El Hassan visited the site of the fire and spoke about the issue. “There is fear and caution in the firefighting because of the landmines,” she told reporters.
Hassan said that Defense Minister Elias Bou Saab was in contact with Cypriot officials, asking them to be prepared to help in the event that Lebanon requested it.
“They have more advanced firefighting capabilities than we do ... and we will use any helicopters or means to put out the fires, even if it will cost us [money],” Hassan added.
Cyprus answered the call at around 3:30 p.m. Beirut time, sending two aircraft to help.
At least one Lebanese Army helicopter was seen working to fight the blaze. More than 100 firefighters from 20 Civil Defense stations cooperated with the Army to extinguish the massive fire. The flames had surrounded some houses in the town, reaching the vicinity of nearby Rafik Hariri University.
Early Monday morning, pictures circulated on social media of sky-high smoke rising from the town.
Meanwhile, several blazes broke out in Akkar overnight and in the early hours of Monday morning.
Civil Defense was able to extinguish fires on the outskirts of Ain Tinta and Qobeiyat, according to the state-run National News Agency. However, a large fire continues to swallow up parts of an oak forest on the outskirts of Ain Yaacoub, aided by high temperatures and wind.
Despite the difficult conditions, Civil Defense, municipal police and local residents were able to encircle the fire, the NNA reported.
During her field visit, Hassan reminded reporters that it is currently “fire season.”
Earlier this year, experts told The Daily Star that, owing to environmental factors, Lebanon was facing a fire season that could prove its worst in many years. They also said the country could struggle to deal with the blazes, because its subpar firefighting capabilities have seen little improvement in the past decade.
Around 34 percent of the country’s territory is at moderate to high risk of fires this year, according to a study prepared in coordination with the Environment Ministry.
Experts said that the fire season peaks in September and October.