Turkish planes depart Israel to fight Lebanese fires

Over 120 fires burn through Lebanon's Cedar forests over the weekend; Hariri asks Amman and Ankara for assistance in extinguishing the blazes.

December 6, 2010 15:01
1 minute read.
Turkish firefighting plane helps in Carmel fire

Turkish firefighting plane 311. (photo credit: IDF Spokesperson)

After helping to fight the Carmel fire, Turkish water-dropping airplanes made their way North - to Lebanon. At the same time that Israel was fighting the deadliest fire it had ever seen, Lebanon's cedar trees, which it features on its flag, were burning uncontrolled.

According to the Lebanese paper The Daily Star, over 120 fires erupted over the weekend, with over 57 breaking out on Sunday. The largest fires were concentrated in the Wadi Shahrour and Baabda regions of the country where over 150,000 square meters have been charred.

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Speaking to the Daily Star, Lebanese Interior Minister Ziyad Baroud said that although the fires are 90 percent controlled, he expressed concern that strong winds could rekindle the flames.

Though Lebanese Prime Minister Sa'ad Hariri was out of the country most of the weekend, he requested fire-fighting aircraft from Amman and Ankara to augment the water-dropping helicopters Beirut was using to fight the blazes.

Two Turkish planes, some of the first to arrive at the Carmel fire, made their way some 50 kilometers north of Beirut to battle a previously uncontrolled blaze in Fitri.

Hariri on Monday called a meeting of Lebanese government ministers to discuss the forest fires ravaging his country.

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