Army sends planes carrying equipment to extinguish Siwa fire, nearby villages evacuated

Major General Medhat al-Nahas, commander of the western military region in Egypt, on Tuesday told state television that the armed forces sent a C-130 plane and a number of helicopters carrying equipment to help extinguish the huge fire that broke out in Siwa and devoured 50 acres of arable land.

The fire broke out on Tuesday in an olive grove in the Mashandat area, 15 kilometers west of the Siwa Oasis.

State-run newspaper Al-Ahram's website said that the security services of the Matrouh governorate evacuated the villages of Taaouny and Mashandat that are close to the fire. Three armed forces fire engines and four from the Civil Protection Authority began to extinguish the fire Tuesday afternoon.

Nile TV said the authorities from the nearby Alexandria governorate also sent fire engines to help.

Marsa Matrouh Governor Mohamed Taha said no casualties were reported so far. “But we put the Siwa general hospital and the military hospital on high alert,” he said.

The Siwa Oasis is located in the Western Desert, 300 kilometers off the coast of the Mediterranean to the south-west of Marsa Matrouh.

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