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Middle East wildfires kill 3, force thousands to flee homes

BEIRUT >> Wildfires around the Middle East triggered by a heatwave hitting the region have killed three people, forced thousands of people to leave their homes and detonated landmines along the Lebanon-Israel border, state media and officials said today.

The areas hit by the heatwave are Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the Palestinian territories. The fires come amid an intense heatwave that is unusual for this time of the year.

Wildfires spread across different areas of Israel and the West Bank for a second day Saturday, forced thousands of people to evacuate their homes.

Israeli Police said in a statement firefighters and police forces evacuated 5,000 residents from the city of Nof Hagalil in northern Israel.

One of the hardest hit countries is war-torn Syria where fires have killed three people and left dozens suffering from breathing problems over the past two days. The wildfires also burnt wide areas of forests, mostly in the central province of Homs and the coastal province of Latakia.

With fire fighters overwhelmed, some residents helped them using primitive methods such as carrying water in buckets and pouring them on the fire.

On Saturday, special rain prayers were held in mosques around different parts of Syria imploring God to send rain to ease drought and stop the fires.

Director of the Forestry Department in Latakia Agricultural Department, Bassem Douba, was quoted as saying by state news agency, SANA, that the number of fires reached 85 in different sites.

Also in Latakia province, fires in President Bashar Assad’s hometown of Qardaha heavily damaged a building used as a storage for the state-owned tobacco company, part of which collapsed.

In Lebanon, firefighters backed by army helicopters fought fires in the country’s north, center and south. A big fire in the southern village of Bater burnt hundreds of pine

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Mideast wildfires kill 3, force thousands to flee homes

BEIRUT (AP) — Wildfires around the Middle East triggered by a heatwave hitting the region have killed three people, forced thousands of people to leave their homes and detonated landmines along the Lebanon-Israel border, state media and officials said Saturday.

The areas hit by the heatwave are Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the Palestinian territories. The fires come amid an intense heatwave that is unusual for this time of the year.

Wildfires spread across different areas of Israel and the West Bank for a second day Saturday, forced thousands of people to evacuate their homes.


Israeli Police said in a statement firefighters and police forces evacuated 5,000 residents from the city of Nof Hagalil in northern Israel.

One of the hardest hit countries is war-torn Syria where fires have killed three people and left dozens suffering from breathing problems over the past two days. The wildfires also burnt wide areas of forests, mostly in the central province of Homs and the coastal province of Latakia.

With fire fighters overwhelmed, some residents helped them using primitive methods such as carrying water in buckets and pouring them on the fire.

On Saturday, special rain prayers were held in mosques around different parts of Syria imploring God to send rain to ease drought and stop the fires.

Director of the Forestry Department in Latakia Agricultural Department, Bassem Douba, was quoted as saying by state news agency, SANA, that the number of fires reached 85 in different sites.

Also in Latakia province, fires in President Bashar Assad’s hometown of Qardaha heavily damaged a building used as a storage for the state-owned tobacco company, part of which collapsed.

In Lebanon, firefighters backed by army helicopters fought fires in the country’s north, center and south. A big fire in the southern village of Bater burnt hundreds of

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Mideast wildfires kill 2, force thousands to flee homes

BEIRUT — Wildfires around the Middle East triggered by a heatwave hitting the region have killed two people, forced thousands of people to leave their homes and detonated landmines along the Lebanon-Israel border, state media and officials said Saturday.

The areas hit by the heatwave are Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the Palestinian territories. The fires come amid an intense heatwave that is unusual for this time of the year.

Wildfires spread across different areas of Israel and the West Bank for a second day Saturday, forced thousands of people to evacuate their homes.

Israeli Police said in a statement firefighters and police forces evacuated 5,000 residents from the city of Nof Hagalil in northern Israel.

One of the hardest hit countries is war-torn Syria where fires have killed two people and left dozens suffering from breathing problems over the past two days. The wildfires also burnt wide areas of forests, mostly in the central province of Homs and the coastal province of Latakia.

With fire fighters overwhelmed, some residents helped them using primitive methods such as carrying water in buckets and pouring them on the fire.

Director of the Forestry Department in Latakia Agricultural Department, Bassem Douba, was quoted as saying by state news agency, SANA, that the number of fires reached 85 in different sites.

Also in Latakia province, fires in President Bashar Assad’s hometown of Qardaha heavily damaged a building used as a storage for the state-owned tobacco company, part of which collapsed.

In Lebanon, firefighters backed by army helicopters fought fires in the country’s north, center and south. A big fire in the southern village of Bater burnt hundreds of pine trees and was getting close to homes when it was put under control.

Along the border with Israel, fires were reported by Lebanon’s state news agency

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New wildfires in the Napa-Sonoma wine country force nearly 70,000 to flee homes

SAN FRANCISCO — Northern California’s wine country was on fire again Monday as strong winds fanned flames in the already scorched region, destroying homes and prompting overnight evacuation orders involving nearly 70,000 people. Meanwhile, three people died in a separate fire further north in the state.

Residents of the Oakmont Gardens senior living facility in Santa Rosa boarded brightly lit city buses, some wearing bathrobes and using walkers. They wore masks to protect against the coronavirus as orange flames marked the dark sky.

The fire threat forced Adventist Health St. Helena hospital to suspend care and transfer all patients elsewhere.

The fires that began Sunday in the famed Napa-Sonoma wine country about 45 miles north of San Francisco came as the region nears the third anniversary of deadly wildfires that erupted in 2017, including one that killed 22 people. Just a month ago, many of those same residents were evacuated from the path of a lightning-sparked fire that became the fourth-largest in state history.

“Our firefighters have not had much of a break, and these residents have not had much of a break,” said Daniel Berlant, assistant deputy director with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, known as Cal Fire.

Sonoma County Supervisor Susan Gorin evacuated her home in the Oakmont community of Santa Rosa about 1 a.m. She is rebuilding a home damaged in the 2017 fires. Gorin told the San Francisco Chronicle that she is numb, and the situation feels surreal.

“It’s like God has no sympathy, no empathy for Sonoma County,” she said.

More than 68,000 people in Sonoma and Napa counties have been evacuated in the latest inferno, one of 27 major fire clusters burning across the state, said Berlant. Many more residents have been warned that they might have to flee, even though

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Wine Country fires burn homes, force evacuations from Santa Rosa to Napa Valley

The Wine Country awoke in flames Monday as windblown wildfires closed in on the Napa Valley from the east and west and swept into Santa Rosa, forcing thousands of North Bay residents to flee their homes in an ominous flashback to the catastrophic infernos three years ago.

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