Carmel Fire decimates coastal plantations

An examination by Globes finds that, despite the huge areas of the Carmel that burned, little damage was caused to local industry.

December 6, 2010 00:01
1 minute read.
Thai worker on farm in South

foreign worker311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

Agriculture Ministry assessors began surveying the disaster area on Mount Carmel this morning to estimate the damage caused to crops in the area. Reports from the ministry and kibbutzim in the area estimate extensive damage to hundreds of acres to some of Israel’s largest banana plantations owned by Kibbutz Beit Oren, Kibbutz Hahotarim, and Kibbutz Ein Hacarmel, which jointly own Coastal Bananas Ltd.

The bananas are grown under netting, and a Beit Oren executive said that the extent of the damage could not yet be estimated. The plantation is located near the Atlit junction at the bottom of the access road to the kibbutz.

“The last time I went there, I saw extensive damage. Part of the plantation was on fire, and it does not look good. However, it’s better to wait for the assessments by the Agriculture Ministry assessors,” said a Beit Oren kibbutz committee executive.

The Agriculture Ministry said on Sunday that its assessors began analyzing the damage to field and other crops this morning. The ministry said that the assessors were coordinating their activity with the Israel Police, and that, within the next few days, they would visit all the communities that the police permit access to.

An examination by Globes on Sunday found that, despite the huge areas of the Carmel that burned, little damage was caused to industry. Kibbutz Industry Association managing director Amos Rabin said that several kibbutzim in the Carmel area have small factories that were not damaged by the fire. Manufacturers Association president Shraga Brosh said that he had received no reports of damage to industry in the area.

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