Israel Forest Fire Kills Dozens near Haifa – December 3rd, 201032.8N 34.9E
About 40 people have died in what is thought to be Israel’s largest ever forest fire, police have said. Many of the victims were prison guards traveling on a bus which was caught in the inferno in the Carmel Mountains near the northern city of Haifa.
Thousands of people, including prison inmates, have been evacuated from the area. Scores more have been injured, the ambulance service said. The cause of the blaze was not immediately known.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has visited the affected area, said it was an “unprecedented disaster”.
Some 13,000 people have been evacuated from the area. Israeli media said it was the biggest forest fire in the country’s history, with 7,000 acres (2,800 hectares) of land destroyed by Thursday evening.
Israel is currently suffering a period of drought with no significant rain since the spring.