TRIPOLI, Lebanon: A forest fire broke out in two northern villages Friday and threatened to damage homes, prompting municipalities to call on the Army to help in firefighting efforts.
The fire erupted in the morning near the villages of Sindiyaneh and Ayyat, in Akkar, and spread to nearby homes, prompting residents to call for help.
Civil Defense trucks and firefighters were unable to reach the valley where the fire was concentrated, the National News Agency reported.
The absence of bodies of water in the area only served to exacerbate the problem, particularly because local water tanks were too small.
Officials from the Ayyat and Sindiyaneh municipalities called on the Army to dispatch a helicopter to help put the fire out.
Later in the afternoon, the Army sent a helicopter to help residents and the Civil Defense in their efforts to extinguish the fire. It was used to transport water from an artificial pond made by the Army in the neighborhood of Shwita in Akkar al-Atiqa, a coordinated effort which helped to contain the fire by nightfall.
Two Akkar residents, who were participating in efforts to put out the raging fire, were injured and taken to nearby hospitals.
The Army said Friday it extinguished several forest fires which flared across the country, with the help of Civil Defense personnel.
In a statement, the military said that fires erupted in the outskirts of Majdalya, Alma Shaab, Tora, Arsoun, Deir al-Harf, Ghaboun, Mishref, Maanieh, Beit Shabab and Ain Saade. The fires destroyed an estimated 200 dunums of trees and brush.
Later in the day, another fire also broke out in the outskirts of the village of Hsarat in Jbeil. Efforts were underway to extinguish it.