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Saudi Arabia: Evacuations mulled as bush fire in Assir rages on

Gulf News logo Gulf News 24/10/2020 Ramadan Al Sherbini, Correspondent
a group of people standing on top of a mountain: saudi © Provided by Gulf News saudi

Cairo: Saudi firefighters, supported by planes, continued their efforts today to put out a massive fire that erupted four days ago in a mountainous area in Assir in the south-western part of Saudi Arabia, civil defence said.

The fire broke out in a rugged forest area in Jabal Ghalameh in Assir’s Governorate of Tanuma.

Firefighters had to climb the inhospitable area after their trucks had difficulty reaching it, according to media reports.

Saudi emergency teams have planned to evacuate nearby villages as a precautionary measure, local authorities in Assir said.

“The field command room has drawn up a plan to evacuate villages if the need arises and provide suitable accommodation centres,” authorities added on Twitter.

Firefighters have divided the ravaged area into sectors to bring the blaze under control and secured some nearby houses from potential extension of the fire. Some houses, located in the direction of smoke, have been evacuated as a precaution.

Five members of the firefighting teams were injured while battling the blaze and were hospitalised. Governor of Assir Prince Turki bin Talal visited them at two local hospitals and inquired after their health, authorities said.

Around 75 per cent of the fire was extinguished until the third day of the blaze that has engulfed a 1,500-metre area, they added.

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