A fire that broke out in Siwa area farms Tuesday has been completely extinguished, Egypt’s western regional military commander said Wednesday.
State-run news agency MENA quoted Major General Medhat al-Nahhas as saying the fire was put out with the help of ground and aerial firefighting and that cooling processes are still ongoing to prevent fires from breaking out again.
The fire gutted 50 feddans of agricultural land near Mashandat and Taaouny villages, located 15 km away from Siwa oasis.
Four helicopters helped put out the fire, including a C-130 plane with fire-extinguishing equipment.
Nahhas said ground firefighting units that helped extinguish the fire included 15 fire engines. Seven belonged to the military, six to the Civil Protection Authority and two to the Khaleda petroleum company.
Authorities provided shelter for those affected by the fire, Nahhas said.
The general said the main operations room at the governorate building did not receive any reports of casualties, and hospitals did not receive any patients injured in the fire.
Presidential hopeful Amr Moussa highlighted the necessity of immediately investigating the reasons for the fire. Through his Twitter account, he urged Egyptians to help the village residents.
Authorities have not yet officially stated what caused the fire.
But state-run newspaper Al-Ahram’s website quoted some Siwa residents as saying smugglers working on the Egyptian-Libyan border started it.
Two days earlier, residents had demanded more security on roads smugglers use, and smugglers sought revenge when authorities met the demand, Al-Ahram said.Tags: fire engines, Siwa Oasis, aerial firefighting, Civil Protection Authority