Dubai: Saudi Civil Defence teams have managed to control a massive fire that erupted in Jabal Al Soudah in the southern Assir region.
Lieutenant Colonel Talal Al Shalhoub, spokesperson of the Ministry of Interior, said the fire broke out at 6:30pm on Wednesday. No casualties were reported, he added.
It took firefighters several hours to put out the blaze, but cooling operations are still continuing, the spokesman said while pointing out that the scenes of fire that are circulating on social media about the Al Soudah fire are inaccurate.
The General Directorate of Civil Defense in Assir confirmed earlier that the bushfire first broken out in weeds and grasses in a mountainous area, and firefighting teams were able to put out the fire in some sites after opening roads to be able to access the rugged terrain before battling the blaze.
Al Souda is a major tourist destination, located about 28 km from the city of Abha in the Assir region. Jabal Al Souda, situated 2,800 meters above sea level, is one of the highest peaks and the most vegetated areas in the Kingdom. Jabal Souda’s weather temperature is the coolest in the Kingdom.
The Jabal Al Soudah fire is the second incident in Saudi Arabia where a huge bushfire broke out last week in Jabal Ghulamah in the Governorate of Tanuma in the region of Assir in southwestern Saudi Arabia without causing casualties.
Three Ethiopian infiltrators were arrested in connection with the massive fire. Security authorities said the infiltrators set the fire following disputes between them, and they fled the scene after the outbreak of the fire.
The mountain blaze resulted in the burning of large numbers of wild plants on a vast region spreading across more than 4.7 million square meters. The fire swept through Ghulamah Mountain on October 21.
Jabal Ghulamah lies between Tanuma and Namas governorates. The Civil Defense Forces continued on Thursday their efforts to extinguish the blaze in a rugged area of the mountain.