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Deadly wildfires brought under control in Syria, Lebanon

Syrian Health Ministry says 3 people died in Homs, Tartus and Latakia provinces; authorities in both countries yet to reveal full extent of damage from blazes

Screen capture from video of the scene of a forest fire in Ras el-Harf village, in the Baabda district, Lebanon, October 9, 2020. (AP)
Screen capture from video of the scene of a forest fire in Ras el-Harf village, in the Baabda district, Lebanon, October 9, 2020. (AP)

DAMASCUS, Syria — Fires that ravaged parts of Syria and Lebanon in recent days have been brought under control, authorities in the two countries said on Sunday.

In Syria, blazes fueled by high temperatures broke out Friday in the provinces of Homs, Tartus and Latakia, where at least three people died, according to the health ministry.

Several families had to flee residential areas near the fires, according to media reports.

“Civil defense teams, supported by army units and the population, are now in control of all the fires in the province” of Latakia, governor Ibrahim Khader al-Salem said, quoted by state news agency SANA.

Firefighters were still on the scene trying “to cool the burned sites,” he added.

SANA said all fires in Tartus had also been brought under control, and crews had managed to completely extinguish a fire in the Korb Ali forest in the western suburbs of Homs.

Syrian Prime Minister Hussein Arnous said efforts were underway to recover from the blazes and support those who had been forced to flee their homes.

View of the damage caused from a forest fire in Nof HaGalil, northern Israel, on October 10, 2020. (Menachem Lederman/Flash90)

In neighboring Lebanon, more than 100 forest fires that raged since Thursday were also completely under control, a civil defense source told AFP.

Authorities have yet to reveal the full extent of the damage from the fires in Syria and Lebanon.

In Israel, fires fueled by the heatwave were brought under control overnight Friday-Saturday, the firefighting service said.

“After more than 30 hours of firefighting, we have brought the main fires under control… (but) we remain vigilant,” the fire service there said in a statement on Saturday

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