NABLUS (Ma’an) — Palestinian firefighters are aiding efforts to control a forest fire which has spread across northern Israel, Palestinian civil defense officials said.

The blaze, which has killed at least 41 people and devastated more than 10,000 acres of land, was still burning out of control 24 hours after it started in the Carmel region, near the northern Israel city of Haifa.

Brigadier General Ahmad Ar-Riziq told Ma’an that Palestinian firefighters were able to help control the fire which has spread to Palestinian villages At-Tayba and Barta’a west of Jenin.

Ar-Riziq said the devastating blaze was a disaster, and that Palestinian civil defenses were doing their best to offer help through official channels.

Israel’s meager firefighting services were under enormous strain on Friday as they battled the worst fire in the country’s 62-year history.

Israel has a nationwide firefighting force of around 1,500 officers, a number considered woefully inadequate to deal with the inferno, prompting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to appeal urgently for international help.

And the force is also under-equipped, lacking a significant stock of vehicles and running low on reserves of firefighting materials such as retardant after a dry summer that sparked a series of forest fires.

UN envoy to the region Robert Serry conveyed his deepest sympathy to the families of victims of the fire in a statement Friday. He said the UN was actively engaged in mobilizing support from member states.

AFP contributed to this report