Saudi firefighters douse Al-Azizah forest fire, no injuries reported

Saudi firefighters douse Al-Azizah forest fire, no injuries reported
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Saudi firefighters are seen at work at Al-Azizah Mountains in Alsouda Heights near Abha. (Photo courtesy of Saudi Civil Defense Directorate)
Saudi firefighters douse Al-Azizah forest fire, no injuries reported
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Saudi firefighters are seen at work at Al-Azizah Mountains in Alsouda Heights near Abha. (Photo courtesy of Saudi Civil Defense Directorate)
Saudi firefighters douse Al-Azizah forest fire, no injuries reported
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Saudi firefighters are seen at work at Al-Azizah Mountains in Alsouda Heights near Abha. (Photo courtesy of Saudi Civil Defense Directorate)
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Updated 30 October 2020

Saudi firefighters douse Al-Azizah forest fire, no injuries reported

Saudi firefighters douse Al-Azizah forest fire, no injuries reported
  • A number of Ethiopian nationals had been arrested on suspicion of setting the forest on fire following a dispute, says Interior Ministry

RIYADH/ABHA: Saudi Arabia’s Civil Defense has put out a fire in the Al-Azizah Mountains in Alsouda Heights near Abha, the administrative capital of Asir Region.

According to Civil Defense’s Twitter account, the firefighters controlled the fire and prevented it from spreading despite the rugged terrain in which the fire broke out. 

Lt. Col. Mohammad Al-Hammadi, Civil Defense spokesman, told Arab News that firefighters made great efforts to reach the area where the blaze had spread using state-of-the-art equipment to contain the fire.

“No one was injured, thanks to the swift action of the firefighters who helped protect the vegetation of this area. The firefighters are working now to cool down the area and combing down the area to ensure the fire has been controlled and contained,” he said.

The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture in Asir said that the Al-Maghda water plant was put at the discretion of firefighters to help them fight the fire, according to Abdullah Al-Wimni, the director of the ministry’s branch in Asir, and Muhammad Al-Haidan the director of the Department of Water Services in Asir. Both said in a statement that 20 water tankers were used by the Civil Defense firefighters.

The Ministry of Interior spokesman said an investigation into last week’s fire in the Ghulamah Mountains in Tanuma governorate, north of Asir, indicated that three border violators caused the blaze, which destroyed an area of more than 4.7 million square meters before it was brought under control by the Saudi Civil Defense team.

According to an Interior Ministry spokesman on Wednesday, the suspects were Ethiopian nationals who set fire to the area following a dispute and fled. They have since been arrested and referred to the authorities for legal action.

Tens of thousands of perennial trees — including wild olives, neems, junipers and acacias — some of which were more than 50 years old — were also destroyed.

The operation was carried out under the direct supervision of the Asir governor with the participation of all government and civil services, as well as teams from Al-Namas and Tanuma governorates.