154 fires broke out in IDP camps across Syria in 2021: NGO

154 fires broke out in IDP camps across Syria in 2021: NGO
2 min read
29 December, 2021
The fires - which have caused at least 12 deaths - have been attributed to the use of plastic heaters, the misuse of heaters, cooking inside tents and flammable tents.
The Syrian war resulted in over 6 million Syrian civilians becoming internally displaced [Getty]

At least 154 fires have broken out in displacement camps across northwestern Syria this year, according to the Syrian Response Coordinators group.

The fires - most commonly attributed to the misuse of heaters and cooking inside tents by the Coordinators group, and the use of plastic heaters and flammable tents by the Syrian Civil Defence group -  have deprived internally displaced persons across the war-torn country of their only refuge.

The fires have caused 12 deaths - including 7 children - and 21 injuries so far this year with material damage ranging from the burning of an entire tent to the burning of several tents next to each other, as the response team say any small mistake could cause them go up in flames.

"[Only 18% of] camps have fire extinguishers... and people are often forced to wait for the firefighting teams... this increases the damage," the Syrian Response Coordinator's group Manager Muhammad Hallaj told The New Arab's Arabic speaking sister publication Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

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"The most important thing is the method of dealing with these fires... we recommend installing [safe] heaters and keeping children away from cooking facilities, as the majority of fires are caused by children," Hallaj added.

The number of those injured from fires in the past three days has reached at least 11, including 4 kids, according to the Syrian Civil Defence.

A fire also consumed 20 tents inhabited by 16 families in Adam Camp, west of Idlib, due to an an electrical short in a solar panel, the camp director Adnan Suleiman told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, stating no injuries were reported.

There are roughly 1,489 camp sites in northern Syria inhabited by roughly 1.5 million internally displaced persons (IDP's) living in harsh and unsafe conditions after being expelled from their homes throughout the decade-long Syrian civil war.

The Syrian war, which saw President Bashar Al-Assad's regime violently crack down on pro-democracy protestors, resulted in over 500,000 deaths and led to over 6 million Syrian civilians becoming internally displaced.

The war also created a further five million refugees, fleeing the country in search of safety and stability.