ACTNews, LATAKIA, TARTUS – Wildfires have burned hectares of land in the Syrian provinces of Latakia, Tartus, and Homs. The fire that started on Thursday (10/8) caused three casualties. 70 people in Latakia province were rushed to hospital with breathing difficulties, the Syrian Health Ministry said.
Reported by Al Jazeera, Syrian Agriculture Minister Mohammed Hassan Qatana said this fire burned a massive area of land in just a single day. “For the first time in its history, Syria is witnessing this [large] number of fires in a single day,” Qatana said.
Syrian official news agency SANA said the fire burned homes in Banias, in Tartus province and Qardahah in Latakia province. In neighboring Lebanon, over 100 fires had been reported across the country since Thursday, according to George Abu Musa, head of operations for the country’s civil defense. “The situation is crazy, there are fires everywhere,” Abu Musa told the AFP news agency.
Although most of the fires have been extinguished, but some were still burning in the Chouf region in the south and Akkar in the north, added Abu Musa. Military helicopters were deployed to assist firefighters in areas that are difficult to reach.
Though the exact cause of the fires is difficult to identify, Abu Musa stated that the wind and the high-temperature help spread the fires. Last year, fires burned down a number of areas in Lebanon in mid-October.