wildfires

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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Wildfires raze dozens of homes in New Zealand

Wildfires have destroyed up to 50 homes in New Zealand, authorities announced Monday, saying it was a miracle no one was hurt as “a wall of orange” razed most of a remote South Island village.

The blaze began in a mountain forest early Sunday morning and, fanned by strong winds, swept through the village of Lake Ohau, forcing residents to flee for their lives.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) said the unpredictable winds made fighting the fire “challenging” and by Monday afternoon it had razed 4,600 hectares (18 square miles) of land.

Waitaki District mayor Gary Kircher said the tiny Lake Ohau community had been devastated.

“Of the 60 or 70 houses, we believe that the majority have gone,” he told Radio New Zealand.

“The reality is that it’s a minor miracle no one has been harmed. If it had been another 15-20 minutes it would have been a very different story.”

Kircher described how residents awoke to find an inferno bearing down on them.

“I talked to a gentleman who got up to his dog (barking) in the early hours, opened his door and there was this wall of orange,” he said.

“He was the one that set off the town fire alarm and helped to wake people… there’s certainly some scary tales about how close it came to being an absolute disaster with fatalities.”

Wildfires are relatively common on the South Island at this time of the year but the scale and intensity of the Ohau fire have been unusual.

By Monday afternoon the fire front had moved far enough from the village to allow evacuated residents a brief trip back to assess the damage.

Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare, who accompanied them, described seeing burned out cars and gutted homes.

“The term I’ve heard used to

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Wildfires Put Nearly 2 Million Homes At Extreme Risk Of Property Losses

Nearly 2 million homes with a reconstruction cost value of more than $638 billion are at an elevated risk of wildfire damage this year, according to a new report by data analytics provider CoreLogic.

This wildfire season is well on its way to setting a record for one of the most destructive years for wildfires in recent memory, and the pandemic is creating additional complications, according to the report, which provides insights into single-family and multifamily residential properties at risk of damage from wildfires in the United States.

The devastating wildfires raging across the Western United States have left homeowners facing the challenge of starting from scratch. With disruptions to the supply chain for raw materials, manufacturing and transportation, the resulting hit to reconstruction efforts could be further challenged.

There is no state that is completely free from wildfire risk, but CoreLogic’s wildfire data indicates that over the past two years, approximately 96.4% of the total acreage burned in the United States was in 13 fire-prone Western states, plus Alaska and Florida. These 15 states are the most susceptible and have an expectation of severe property losses due to wildfire.  

Alaska, due to its size and concentration of forested area, accounts for a large segment of total wildfire acreage each year. And Florida, even with higher levels of humidity and rainfall, tends to experience a relatively large share of wildfire activity.

As the nation’s population increases and residential development extends farther from metro areas, more homes and businesses will face the threat of wildfires. 

The Los Angeles metro area tops the list of metropolitan areas with the greatest single-family residences at wildfire risk, followed by the Riverside and San Diego metro areas. California

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