Wildfires continued to torch public and private lands across north Lebanon Friday as the government’s inability to heed warnings about these fires was widely visible to the public.
Lebanon’s caretaker Agriculture Minister told AFP the state had no money for firefighting aircraft. The official said Beirut was banking on help from nearby Cyprus and Greece as well as neighboring war-torn Syria.
Similar to the wildfires in the summer of 2019, which partially sparked the nationwide anti-government protests in October of that year, the state-owned firefighting helicopters remained grounded this year.
At the time, a government official said there was no money in the state’s treasury to carry out the needed maintenance on the Sikorsky helicopters.
The same problem is being faced today, according to Abbas Mortada, the agriculture minister.
As a result, the Lebanese people have taken to social to voice their frustration and raise awareness as to what is taking place in Akkar, where the fires continue blaze across pine forests, orchards and homes.
Al Arabiya English has compiled a number of videos of the fires from the last few days:
[PSA] Forest fires broke out earlier today in al-Qoubaiyat, north Lebanon, and continue to spread, seemingly inching toward residential areas. In a widely circulated video, people can be seen trying to flee. pic.twitter.com/hyS5sEKJXy— مصدر عام | The Public Source (@ThePublicSource) July 28, 2021
🔴 Images showing the huge fire in #Qobeyyate (Akkar) today. Several people injured, thousands of trees gone in flames. Yet another disaster for #Lebanon… (video credit: Antoine Daher) pic.twitter.com/9UfhvNBn61— Matthieu Karam (@MatthieuKaram) July 28, 2021
مرعب جدا اصبح الوضع في #اكروم_تحترق اللهم سلم— H a s s a n O b e i d (@HassanObeid16) July 29, 2021
#القبيات #عكار #لبنان@MMoursel @salmanonline @TheLebanonDream @SalamehCarine @amanie_geha @BassamAbouZeid @LarissaAounSky @dargham @RChantaf @ALJADEEDNEWS @mtvlebanon @LBCI_NEWS @sewella pic.twitter.com/OFKSdawF7T