07/26/2012 17:05
More than 15 fire crews battle the wildfire; residents allowed to return home after being evacuated as precautionary measure.
Illustrative Photo: Marc Israel Sellem

More than 15 fire crews scrambled to tackle a large wildfire on the Carmel Mountain, managing to stop the flames just before they threatened to spread to apartment buildings in a Haifa neighborhood on Thursday.

Fire trucks and personnel flooded the area, on the outskirts of Haifa’s Naveh Sha’anan neighborhood, working for two hours to bring the wildfire under control.

Several streets were blocked off and a number of homes were evacuated, with some residents suffering from light smoke inhalation.


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Five fire fighting planes joined the battle against the blaze later, after the flames had moved away from high power electric lines.

At the peak of the blaze, plumes of smoke could be seen rising over sections of Haifa, and police sealed off several roads to traffic.

Soon after the blaze was put out, police reported a second fire spreading in a valley near Kiyar Tivon. Fire crews rushed to the new scene, and managed to gain the upper hand over the fire within an hour.

Police and firefighters are investigating the cause of the fire.

Brushfire threatens eastern Haifa neighborhood – YNET

Firefighters manage to subdue flames raging east of Mount Carmel; several residential buildings evacuated as precautionary measure

Ahiya Raved
Latest Update: 07.26.12,

A large brushfire broke out on Thursday afternoon on the eastern slopes of Mount Carmel, near the Neve Sha’anan neighborhood in Haifa. Nearly three hours after the blaze had started, firefighters in the northern city said they have managed to contain the flames.

Some 15 firefighting crews were deployed to scene to battle the flames, and were joined by two firefighting planes.

Residential areas were not in the path of the fire, although heavy smoke wafted into the adjacent neighborhoods. The police initially closed all major roads in the region, but later reopened most of them, save for Solomon and Gdalyahu Streets.

Earlier, dozens of residents were evacuated from two apartment buildings on Solomon Street. A 62-year-old woman felt unwell, and was treated on by paramedics.

Many residents of Neve Shaanan decided to leave the neighborhood of their own accord as a precautionary measure.

“We’re not waiting until they tell us what to do,” one resident told Ynet. “When they put out the fire, we’ll come home.”

But a spokesman for Haifa’s fire department, Yossi Ben Yossef, warned that “self-evacuation could lead to a disaster,” instructing the residents to wait for the police’s orders.

Witnesses said earlier they saw the flames spreading rapidly.

“It’s very windy and the fire is spreading quickly,” said Levy Mor, who watched the blaze from Haifa bay.

In a recent report, State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss said that the police and the fire departments failed to sufficiently cooperate during the 2010 Carmel Forest fire.

This time, the emergency services established a joint command center as soon as they realized that the fire was not a minor one. A police helicopter was scrambled to direct the Fire and Rescue Services from above.,7340,L-4260946,00.html