It is true that we love our Lebanese summers. Nonetheless, we sometimes tend to forget that the increasingly warm temperatures might bring about some environment problems like incidences of fire that are not minimal. This was sadly the case with Wadi Harba in the north of Lebanon. Fortunately for all of us, our Lebanese Civil Defense never disappoints and handled the major challenge with excellence. This is what happened:
A monstrous fire erupted on the west side of the highway at Al-Madfoun Bridge on Monday, the 12th of August. Due to the size of the fire, four civil defense teams rushed in to fight it from Batroun, Kfifan, Jbeil, and Oqaiba.
Even though, the Civil Defense teams totally controlled the fire, to the relief of the residents of the region, and impeded it to spread to the nearby forest, the consequences of the incident could have been much more serious, which makes certain precautions necessary for the summer months.
Unlike many natural disasters, wildfires usually happen due to mistakes that certain people make or careless behaviors. Considering that those caused by people can be prevented by people, too, we are all urged to be consciously careful.
While the cause of the fire in Wadi Harba hasn't been revealed yet, the possibility is high that, like previous such incidences, it could have been caused by a cigarette -or any smoking material- thrown off carelessly around on the street. It is always strongly advised not to throw off cigarettes and smoking materials on the streets, or anywhere else near flammable substance, including dry herbs and littered papers, especially during the hot weather season.
One should also be sure to completely extinguish the cigarettes before throwing them off. Other safety tips include not leaving a fire unattended and paying attention when using fueling devices or when launching fireworks.
Fireworks are in a league of their own when it comes to Lebanese celebrations, and they are as hazardous. Even though this is not always openly mentioned, fireworks can easily cause incendiary accidents if not used properly. Measures must be considered seriously, like having a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher at close reach, in addition to not letting children use fireworks unsupervised.
Last but not least, we can't miss thanking the Lebanese Civil Defense for its continuous efforts to always serve our country in the best way possible and for always preventing all sorts of disasters and tragedies. It is thanks to devoted institutions like this one that we can make a better Lebanon!
On that context, we join our voice to the Association of Friends of Wadi Harba, which posted a FB message as follows, "The assembly calls on dear citizens, especially visitors to the valley and the "Mountain walk" Equality, to adhere to the civil defense guidelines to avoid fires in the summer season, which come across large areas of forests and green spaces."