Friday, December 3, 2010

Israel Struggles to Quell Forest Fire


Israel was still struggling on Friday to control a fire raging in a rain-starved forest in northern Israel that has left at least 41 people dead, caused the evacuation of thousands of residents, destroyed some kibbutz houses and prompted the government to call for urgent international aid in fighting the blaze.

A spokesman for the fire service in the area, Hezi Levy, said the fire, which broke out on Thursday morning, was the biggest and deadliest in Israel’s history.

The scale of the crisis forced Israel, which prides itself on being one of the world’s most nimble and generous countries in disaster relief, into the unusual position of petitioner. Early on Friday, a plane from Greece carrying personnel and equipment and a Bulgarian plane with about 100 firefighters landed at an air force base in the north of the country. [...]

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