Inferno razes Israel forests weooldsforest razed by fire
Tuesday 04 July 1995
Surveying the aftermath of the forest fire, which destroyed 2 million pine trees across 5,000 acres of forest and caused pounds 14m damage, the Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, said yesterday: "The first thing is to find a place to live for those whose homes were hit."
Arson is suspected, but after the hottest July in 100 years the hills west of Jerusalem are tinder dry, and a carelessly-thrown cigarette could easily have started it. On Sunday the smoke turned the sky to the west of Jerusalem a strange dull yellow. Hundreds of people fled five small communities which lay in the path of the fire. Worst affected was Shoresh, about six miles from the city, which lost more than half of its 50 homes.
Thirty-seven people suffered smoke inhalation and the woodland on either side of the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway was charred for six miles.
"No doubt it's a real disaster," Mr Rabin said after meeting local leaders in Shoresh. He said the fire "was not started by any enemy of Israel".
Menachem Vach, a spokesman for the Jewish National Fund which planted many of the trees in the once-barren hills, said he was sure the fire was caused by "negligence". He did not elaborate. A Jewish fund-raising group from the United States on tour in Israel said it would call on Jewish organisations world-wide to work to renew the pine forests. Mr Rabin promised government help for residents and in restoring the charred woodlands around their homes.
Fire brigades also had to rush to Acre, on the coast north of Haifa, yesterday when an ice cream factory caught fire, forcing the evacuation of part of the city. Local authorities feared that tanks holding 20 tons of ammonia might explode, sending out a cloud of poisonous smoke. Four people were injured.
Despite recent torrid temperatures, residents of Jerusalem are not very fire conscious. On Saturday an exhibition of folk dancing outside the city's council chambers ended in a firework display, sparks from which threatened to set fire to the mayor's office.
The Sistine Chapel is set to be illuminated with thousands of LEDs
Gillian Anderson lays into gender disparity in Hollywood
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 35,000 walrus gather on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
Brad Pitt, on the moment he completely lost his temper with Clint Eastwood's son
Jennifer Lawrence nude photos leak: More celebrities allegedly targeted as third wave of hacked images released
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Former Tory donor Arron Banks ups his Ukip donation to £1million following William Hague 'nobody' comment
- < Previous
- Next >
£36000 - £37000 per annum: Randstad Education Group: Experienced SEN Teacher n...
This is an unpaid volunteer role. : Belong: We are looking for volunteers who ...
£17000 - £18000 per annum: Randstad Education Group: Experienced TA's urgently...
£100 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Group: Supply Business Studies Teacher...