Libya Herald reporters.
Benghazi, 10 July 2017:
Desperate farmers have been using back-mounted pesticide sprayers to squirt water at a blaze that has today gripped woods and brushland near Shahat.
A passing motorist told the Libya Herald he had seen men pumping away at the devices while others brought fresh water to recharge the tanks. He said that although the fires seemed to have been burning for some hours, he had not seen any fire crews trying to tackle the blaze, the smoke and burning embers from which were making driving hazardous.
The recent high temperatures have left undergrowth tinder dry and winds, though relatively light, have fanned the flames.
Forest fires are a regular summer event. In 2013 an extensive blaze destroyed many hectares of forest. Local fire crews complained they lacked the equipment to deal with the emergency. In the end the blaze, in this case near Ras Hilal, were brought under control with the help of two Italian Civil Protection Department water bombers which scooped up and dropped 120,000 litres of sea water onto the burning woodlands.