Large-scale forest fires ravage northern Lebanon, forcing residents to flee

Numerous fires have broken out in northern Lebanon, ravaging pine forests and threatening several villages. The fires have forced some residents to flee their homes, and at least one firefighter has died fighting the blaze.

Hot weather and strong winds have hit northern Akkar province, sparking numerous wildfires. On Wednesday, a large forest fire broke out near the town of Qubayat, the largest Christian settlement in the region.

Footage from the scene showed flames spreading extremely quickly through the forested mountains, burning the legendary Lebanese pine forests. The flames quickly approached the town as well as other villages in the area.

Firefighters as well as the military were sent into the area to fight the blaze. At least one volunteer firefighter died, the state-run National News Agency reported.

President Michel Aoun instructed army and civil defense leaders to seek help from neighboring Cyprus. In previous years, the island nation has repeatedly sent firefighting helicopters if Lebanon’s forest fires have gotten out of control.

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