Damour (QNN)- Wildfires spread through parts of Lebanon on Tuesday, forcing some residents to flee their homes in the middle of the night, while others were stuck inside as the flames reached villages south of Beirut, authorities said.
A heat wave in the region coupled with strong winds intensified the fires that began a day earlier in mostly pine forests around the country and three provinces in neighboring Syria.
The huge forest fires have ripped through the Shouf mountains in the center of the country, the Lebanese civil defense said on Tuesday. A number of homes were gutted.
Civil defence teams, Lebanese army helicopters and Beirut firefighting teams, and concerned residents have been working on extinguishing the fire, which threatened a number of houses in the town.
The Palestinian firefighting teams in Palestinian refugee camps throughout Lebanon rushed to help, to be the first to aid the Lebanese fire department.
Lebanon has asked for international help battling the fires, which are among the worst to hit Lebanon in years.
Heavy smoke was seen over Beirut and the city of Sidon, and one volunteer firefighter reportedly died.
Two forestry workers have also died in the north-western region of Latakia, according to Syrian state media.
Eight more were injured in the flames, Sana news agency said.