Thursday, June 26, 2014
Small Section in Jerusalem Forest Burnt
The fire that broke out yesterday in the Ein Kerem neighborhood on Wednesday, June 25, 2014, consumed about 37 acres of the Jerusalem forest. Firefighters successfully contained the fire. Investigators are looking into the cause of the fire and the current assumption is that it was caused by people, although it is not clear if it was arson or negligence. The fire was stopped in the forest and the Grove of the Nations was not damaged. KKL-JNF teams are assessing the damage.
More than 50 firefighting teams took part in firefighting activities, including KKL-JNF forest teams. The firefighters and the KKL-JNF firebreaks prevented the fire from spreading to Yad Vashem and the Zipori Center in Jerusalem Forest.
Fire in Jerusalem Forest near Ein Kerem. Photo: Yossi Zamir, KKL-JNF Photo Archive
Firefighting teams remained in the forest overnight in order to deal with hundreds of small smoldering fires. The Jerusalem Forest and its recreation areas were built and are cared for with the help of contributions of friends of KKL-JNF from throughout the world.
Hanoch Tzoref, KKL-JNF regional director, said that about 37 acres of forest were burned in the Jerusalem Forest. The burnt areas included sections that were already treated for damage caused by last year's huge winter storm.
KKL-NF created firebreaks in the areas that it is responsible for, including the area surrounding Yad Vashem. These firebreaks prevented the fire from spreading to Yad Vashem and the Grove of Nations.
The present fire broke out during the height of intensive activities by KKL-JNF teams to repair the damage done by last winter's intense storm, which damaged about 70% of the total area of the Jerusalem Forest, which is about 550 acres. This work includes pruning, removing hazards and repairing damages in recreation areas, picnic sites and hiking trails.
KKL-JNF, with the help of its friends worldwide, invests a great deal of resources into rehabilitating forests damaged by the storm, and fires. The rehabilitation of the forests and caring for them is estimated at hundreds of millions of shekels.