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Fires in northern Lebanon caused by high temperatures, winds

Lebanon has experienced several wildfires this summer, as have other countries in the region.
Civil Defense personnel monitor a wildfire burning through hills on July 28, 2021, in Qobayat, Lebanon.

More forest fires broke out in Lebanon on Friday.

A “massive fire” engulfed olive groves in the northern Lebanese town of Sfireh. Lebanese firefighters and volunteers attempted to extinguish the flames, which threatened people’s homes, the official National News Agency reported.

There was also a large wildfire in Aaiyat further north near the border with Syria. Civil Defense official Talal Ayub said the fire came from the east and broke out due to high temperatures in the area. Wind also cause the fire to spread, he told the National News Agency.

Temperatures in Tripoli, which is Lebanon’s major city in the north, reached at least 34 degrees Celsius (93 degrees Fahrenheit) on Friday, with winds of 7 kmh (4 mph), according to AccuWeather.

There have been large wildfires across the Middle East, North Africa and Europe this summer. A large fire broke out in forested areas of Jerusalem this week, prompting both Israeli and Palestinian firefighters to respond. At least 65 people died due to wildfires in Algeria this month, with firefighters being among the dead. Fires throughout Turkey have also hurt the tourism industry and caused immense destruction.

Friday’s fires were not the first in Lebanon this summer, with wildfires occurring throughout August and July in the country.

The fires come as Lebanon deals with a historically terrible economic crisis.

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