Five Days of Battling the Flames throughout Israel

Sunday, November 27, 2016 12:11 PM

KKL-JNF foresters have been fighting the fires in the forests and open spaces around the clock. At this stage, 2,750 acres of forests were burned in 58 forest fires.

After five days of fires all over Israel, a number of which were caused by arson, firefighters were able to contain the flames with the help of additional forces from abroad.
Caution: Due to current weather conditions, forests are still at risk from more fires
Over the past five days, about 2,500 firefighters have been contending with approximately 630 fires throughout Israel. One and a half million tons of liquids and fire inhibitors were dumped on the ground in over 480 airplane sorties.
Hundreds of houses went up in flames, tens of thousands of people were evacuated, and 133 people were injured.
KKL-JNF announced a general mobilization of its firefighting network, along with additional staff that joined the effort to save the forests. Over 300 KKL-JNF staff and firefighters, together with 20 fire trucks and heavy mechanical equipment are assisting firefighting operations in the forests and open spaces.

Summary of forest and open spaces fires as of Sunday, November 27, 2016

A preliminary survey of the damage showed that during five days of extensive fires, about 2,750 acres went up in flames in 58 fire incidents in forests and open spaces managed by KKL-JNF. Out of this number, about 1,800 acres were burned in the Jerusalem Mountains.
Main forest fire locations:
In the forests of Northern Israel,about 250 acres were burnt in 39 forest fires.
Lower Galilee and the Gilboa: Kfar Hahoresh Forest, Tzippori Forest, Beit Keshet, Balfour, Tabor and the slopes of Nazareth.
Western Galilee and the Carmel: Alkoush Forest, Ma’alot Yehiam, Ahihud, Gilon, Yuvalim, Shfaram, Kiryat Ata, Segev, Carmel Coast, Alonim and Nir Etzion.
Menashe and Sharon Regions: 350 acres went up in fires in Ein Hashofet-Hazorea Forest, Hadera Forest, Metzar Forest, Mishmar Ha’emek, Iron, Meggido, Binyamin and Umm el Fahem.
Lower Coastal Plain: About 175 acres were burnt, including the big fire at Eshtaol, where 125 acres of forest went up in flames. In addition, there were fires at Neve Shalom, Harel and Ayalon-Canada Park. There were also a number of fires at Modi’in Forest, Ben Shemen Forest, Shoham Forest and Koah Forest.
The huge fire in the Jerusalem mountains consumed a total of 5,000 acres, including about 1,800 acres of KKL-JNF forest. This fire is considered the largest forest fire in Israel since the 2010 Carmel fire.
In the south, there were a small number of fires in Lahav and Devira forests.
Friends of KKL-JNF throughout the world mobilized to support the KKL-JNF firefighters, along with raising funds for expected forest rehabilitation activities and prevention of additional fires.

KKL-JNF hosts families evacuated due to the fires

In response to the fires, the KKL-JNF Field and Forest Center in Nes Harim opened its doors to families and residents who were evacuated from their homes. The field center is located in the Jerusalem Mountains and offers emergency housing in its guestrooms, which can host families of up to six who were affected by the fires raging in Israel.
The Field and Forest Center offers rooms with beds, hot showers, a cafeteria where meals are provided, activities for children with top counselors, and a bit of reprieve in a supportive atmosphere. The site is fenced in and guarded.
According to KKL-JNF World Chairman Danny Atar, “as part of our commitment to the Jewish people and to the citizens of Israel, we are providing, immediately and with no time limit, living units for families who were forced to evacuate their homes due to fire. KKL-JNF foresters and firefighters are working around the clock to help stop the flames and save Israel’s forests. At the same time, we are using all our resources to help those who were adversely affected by the fires. Opening the field and forest center is the first stage.”