Lebanon News

Civil Defense warns of wildfires as temperatures rise

A man tries to extinguish a fire in Chouf, Oct. 15, 2019. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)

BEIRUT: Lebanon's Civil Defense warned Friday of possible wildfires as temperatures are expected to reach 34 degrees Celsius Friday, 10 degrees above average for this time of year.

Temperature highs in November usually average 24 degrees Celsius, making the upcoming five days far hotter than their yearly average, a source at Beirut airport's meteorological department told The Daily Star.

Civil Defense shared a map showing where fires are likely to happen. Areas in north and south Lebanon were placed at “medium-high risk” of wildfires for Friday and Saturday, while other districts remained at medium risk.

On Sunday, Tripoli, Beirut and south Lebanon were rated to be at high risk of wildfires. Areas in north Lebanon, Chouf, Aley, Western Bekaa and surrounding districts will have medium to high risk of wildfires.

Coastal cities are expecting to see temperatures ranging between 31-34 degrees during the day Friday. By night, the temperatures should drop to about 16 – with the exception of Beirut, which is expected to fall to 22 degrees. Winds are expected to range between 10 and 35 kilometers per hour.

Temperatures in the mountains will range from 16 to 26 degrees, while temperatures in the Bekaa will range from 10 to 29 degrees. Similar temperatures are expected for Saturday and Sunday.

For coastal cities, temperatures are expected to drop to a high of 31 to 32 degrees Saturday and Sunday, and a low of 15, also with the exception of Beirut, which would have a low of 20 degrees.

Civil Defense said Friday that its personnel were on high alert, and called on the public to dial its hotline, 125, to report fires.

Last month, a combination of high temperatures and wind speeds caused the worst wildfires Lebanon has seen in decades.

 

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