Fires seriously endanger our forests!
KKL-JNF reminds the public of fire safety rules that must be followed (see Safety and Fire Prevention tips below
). The public must light fires only in designated areas and must not build fires in the forests, as fire can spread and conflagurate into wildfires, as we saw with the November fires in 2016, that ended up burning over 3,758 acres of forests and open spaces in Israel.
Bonfires lit on Lag Baomer in 2016 (26th May) caused scores of wildfires that year, including five of them in forests around Jerusalem. Hundreds of dunams of Jerusalems beautiful Arazim Valley went up in flames, leaving behind burnt shells of trees and scorched earth.
Every year the smoke from bonfires causes environmental damage, because the air gets filled with toxic particles released by the bonfires, and there is an increase in the carbon dioxide levels that cause global warming. Air pollution surveys last Lag Baomer in the Jerusalem vicinity indicated an increase in the concentration of particles that pollute the air – 500 micrograms of toxic particles, compared with 50 on a regular day, a health hazard increased tenfold.
KKL-JNF asks the public to minimize the number of bonfires and to combine them, for example to make a school bonfire instead of a class bonfire or to make only one neighborhood bonfire.