After wildfires spread in parts of Lebanon on October 15, the country has now turned to its neighbors to ask for help in battling the blaze which also killed a volunteer firefighter in the country. The raging fires had forced some residents to vacate their homes in the middle of the night, while most people were also inside their houses when the flames reached villages south of Beirut. The Prime Minister of Lebanon, Saad Hariri, told a national news agency that they have contacted the Europeans to send means of help.
The heatwave in the region combined with the strong winds has intensified the fires which began on October 14 mostly in the pine forests around the Mediterranean country along with three provinces in Syria. However, there are still no reports on how many casualties the fire has caused. The dense smoke has been seen drifting, especially over the outskirts of Beirut, the mountains in Chouf region and the southern city of Saida. It was in Chouf where the volunteer firefighter lost his life while trying to put out the blazes. Other firefighters have been tackling the fires for the last two days.
According to the Minister of Interior and Municipalities, Raya El-Hassan said that Cyprus and Greece have already responded to Lebanon's call for help. Moreover, Cypriot helicopters have been working to put out the fires since yesterday. In addition to that, Greece has also agreed to send two more planes for help, and along with that, the Jordan king has ordered the country's army to send two firefighting planes, which will be dispatched from Lebanon. According to a news agency, the army is working in tandem with the helicopters and the Cypriot planes to put an end to the fires. However, the Lebanese people have criticised the government on social media for its inability to respond swiftly.
(With inputs from agencies)