Fires brought under control in Syria, Lebanon

©Al-Araby Al-Jadeed

Fires that ravaged parts of Syria and Lebanon in recent days have been brought under control, authorities in the two countries said on Sunday.

In Syria, blazes fuelled by high temperatures broke out Friday in the provinces of Homs, Tartus and Latakia, where at least three people died, according to the health ministry.

Several families had to flee residential areas near the fires, according to media reports.

"Civil defence teams, supported by army units and the population, are now in control of all the fires in the province" of Latakia, governor Ibrahim Khader al-Salem said, quoted by state news agency SANA.

Firefighters were still on the scene trying "to cool the burned sites," he added.

SANA said all fires in Tartus had also been brought under control, and crews had managed to completely extinguish a fire in the Korb Ali forest in the western suburbs of Homs.

Syrian Prime Minister Hussein Arnous said efforts were underway to recover from the blazes and support those who had been forced to flee their homes.

In neighbouring Lebanon, more than 100 forest fires that raged since Thursday were also completely under control, a civil defence source told AFP.

Authorities have yet to reveal the full extent of the damage from the fires in Syria and Lebanon.

In Israel, fires fuelled by the heatwave were brought under control overnight Friday-Saturday, the firefighting service said.

"After more than 30 hours of firefighting, we have brought the main fires under control... (but) we remain vigilant," the fire service there said in a statement on Saturday.

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