WATCH: ‘Huge waves of fire’ suddenly spread across Syrian countryside, sending rescue workers scrambling
Massive wildfires engulfed the Syrian countryside near Latakia and local firefighters battled to contain the blaze. Local media outlets are describing it as a sudden “huge wave of fires” and report that it broke out at around midnight local time.
Eyewitness footage from the area shows the extent of the blaze, which continued to burn into Friday afternoon, filling the skies with thick smoke.
Severe dry eastern winds and rugged terrain are hampering firefighter efforts to reach local residents in Kalakho, according to Basem Duba, Director of the Forestry Department at the Directorate of Agriculture.
Fire crews from Latakia, Jableh, Qardaha, Al-Haffah, Harf Al-Musaytara, Al-Fakhoora, Al-Daliah, and other municipalities have been scrambled to keep back the firestorm.
Hundreds of acres of citrus and olive groves have been reduced to ash, as the wildfire threatens local industry and food supplies, with some reports indicating the incident occurred near a local naval academy.
There have as yet been no official reports of casualties or of the extent of the damage caused, as the wildfire is still being contained.
Sporadic, large wildfires began breaking out across the Syrian countryside in August. One particular blaze in the Ain al-Krum area, with flames four meters high, ultimately consumed vast tracts of local forest.
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