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Katerina Hakmeh 29 Jul 2021

Fires Are Still Raging In Lebanon’s Largest Verdant Regions: Qobayet & Surroundings

Yesterday afternoon, a large fire broke out in the agricultural and heavily-forested region of Qobayat in North Lebanon, eventually reaching residential areas and forcing residents to flee.

The fire spread across the hills of Qobayat, burning nearly 20,000 square meters of olive groves and oak trees in the villages, including Andkit and Beino, endangering the ecology of one the Lebanon’s most verdant regions.

This fire had started in the nearby village of Beino near the Akroum mountains, which has also been evacuated. Firefighters in the region requested reinforcement from Cyprus as the flames spread rapidly and threatened residences and other structures. Volunteers from all over Lebanon came to help stop the fire that is still raging.

There were also reports of a 15-year old passing away after falling on his head while attempting to extinguish the flames.

During the past two years, hundreds of fires have swept across Lebanon during summer heat waves, with the situation repeating itself without a rescue plan in sight.

The murder of our country’s largest swathes of pine forests in the mountainous north at the hands of this political class continues: hectares and hectares are going up in smoke, centuries of environmental and landscape history are being erased.

Our hearts are with the residents who are fearing for their lives and homes.