Arson Suspected in Jerusalem Forest Fire

At about 4:00 PM on Sunday, July 17, 2011, a fire erupted in the Jerusalem Forest at three different spots simultaneously. At the present time, police officers and fire department investigators are looking into the possibility that the fire was the result of arson.

KKL_190711_A (photo credit: KKL-JNF)
(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
At this stage, it is estimated that 150 dunams (about 15 acres) of forest went up in flames. KKL-JNF teams will be making a more detaiKKLled assessment of damage caused by the fire over the next few days. The rapid deployment of KKL-JNF's fire trucks and the resourcefulness of its workers prevented a much larger conflagration. The huge forest fire spread in the direction of the Pi Glilot natural gas storage facility and the Har Nof neighborhood. Fire planes went into action and streets in the region were closed to traffic. The fire was fanned by strong winds and the summer heat, and the flames reached the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, which had to be evacuated.
Eli Ya'akov, KKL-JNF Jerusalem Bloc forester, said that three KKL-JNF fire trucks and about forty KKL-JNF workers participated in stopping the fire. One of the fire trucks participating in the firefighting effort was purchased thanks to a contribution of friends of KKL-JNF from the United States. By 9:00 PM, the fire had been only partially contained, so one fire truck and a number of KKL-JNF firefighters, together with a supervisor and KKL-JNF regional director Hanoch Zoref, spent the night in the forest to make certain that the fire would not re-erupt.