Lebanon battles worst wildfires in decades

Jordan helps battle forest fires in Lebanon under Royal directives

Lebanon battles worst wildfires in decades - BBC News

On 15 October, Lebanon requested assistance through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism for aerial forest firefighting capacities.

Lebanon has asked for global help battling hundreds of forest fires that broke out on Monday and have spread overseas.

The blazes - the worst in decades - started in Lebanon's western mountains, amid a heatwave and strong winds.

Heavy smoke was seen over Beirut and the city of Sidon, and one volunteer firefighter reportedly died.

In the Chouf, an area known for its trees, a volunteer firefighter lost his life trying to put out the flames, his family said. Other firefighters have been tackling the fires for the last two days.

In an immediate response, the European Union has already 6 operating firefighting planes, 4 of which are rescEU aircraft, 2 from Italy and 2 from Greece, as well as 2 planes sent from Cyprus. 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.

Personnel from United Nations peacekeeping force UNIFIL, who usually patrol the country's southern border with Israel, have also joined in the efforts, the agency said.

Lebanese on social media criticised the government's apparent inability to respond fast enough on its own.

Two members of the Latakia forestry department were killed while fighting the blaze, it added.

In Homs, trees were burnt and electricity networks disrupted in mountainous areas, the agency reported.

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