On Thursday, a large fire erupted in Akkar’s Wadi Jahannam (the Valley of Hell). Only local volunteer groups worked to control the fire which was at risk of spreading quickly.
The founder of Akkar Trail, Osman Taleb, noted on his Instagram account that it was impossible for the Lebanese Civil Defense to intervene to stop the fire because it does not have vehicles equipped for rugged areas.
Taleb, and other civil society activists, criticized the fact that the Lebanese Army was nowhere to be seen and that its firefighter helicopters had not been deployed immediately.
It was a bitter note ringing back to the wildfires that devoured much of Lebanon’s forests and mountains in 2019, which added to the frustration leading up to the October 17 Revolution.
It wasn’t until earlier today, a day after the fire began, that the caretaker Agriculture Minister Abbas Mortada requested the support of the Lebanese Army to help put out the raging fire.
Military helicopters are now working to put out the inferno in Akkar’s forests which, at the time of writing, are still in flames.