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Why Lebanon’s wildfires risk is becoming more common

Lebanon’s recent forest fires have raised concern about the ability to respond to extreme weather events as a result of climate change.
A firefighting aircraft tackles wildfires in Dibbiyeh village, south of Beirut, Lebanon October 15, 2019. REUTERS/Aziz Taher     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RC156A60AE40

MESHREF/BEIRUT, Lebanon — At the entrance to the village of Meshref in Mount Lebanon, there is a small sign that reads “Save Trees: They Will Save You.” The metal sign, with its base burnt and surrounded by ash and smouldering bushes, is emblematic of one of the worst wildfires Lebanon has ever experienced.

“It was the worst fire season I have ever faced,” George Abou Moussa, director of Forest Fire Operations for Lebanon’s Civil Defense, told Al-Monitor, “We do our best, we do everything we can, but in the end, it took everything.”

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