Wildfires sweep large swathes in Syria

Source: Xinhua| 2020-10-09 22:54:41|Editor: huaxia

DAMASCUS, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) -- Firefighters battled numerous blazes on Friday as wildfires renewed in forest areas in central and northwestern Syria, according to the state media and witnesses.

The fires, which broke out at midnight, roared in the countryside of Homs province in central Syria as well as in the coastal provinces of Tartous and Latakia in northwestern Syria.

Flames have burned large swathes of agricultural and forest areas in Latakia, Tartous, and Homs.

The fires also forced evacuations in a village in the countryside of Latakia and killed two people. Several people were also hospitalized after suffering from breathing difficulties.

Firefighters are having a hard time controlling the new blazes due to the strong winds and the lack of roads between agricultural areas as well as the geographic nature of the territories, according to Samir Shamma, the head of the fire crews in Tartous.

Cited by state SANA news agency, Shamma said the tough situation has pushed the Syrian army to intervene to help put out the fires.

"The situation is hard and we are earnestly trying to control the fires within the available capacity," he said.

In Latakia, the fires have devoured hundreds of dunums of citrus trees and olives in addition to wide areas of the natural forests, SANA said.

Syrian Prime Minister Hussein Arnous on Friday instructed all concerned ministries and their affiliated authorities, firefighting teams, and civil defense units in all provinces to provide support and assistance in putting out the fires.

The new fires come a month after wildfires gutted 7,000 dunams (7 square km) in the countryside of Masyaf area in Hama province in central Syria. Enditem