Five Years after the Fire, the Carmel is Green Again.
(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
The great Carmel fire in 2010 killed 44 people and destroyed 2,500 hectares worth of forested areas with millions of trees. Five years after the disaster, the color green has returned to the forest.
On November 29, 2015, KKL-JNF arranged a tour for journalists, so they could see how the color green has returned to the forest, hear about the rehabilitation projects led by KKL-JNF, observe the precautions undertaken for dealing with future wildfires, and meet the communities that live on the Carmel and the KKL-JNF representatives responsible for the forest.
“It’s amazing to see how the entire area has gone back to being green, especially in those areas managed by KKL-JNF,” said Yiftah Harhol, KKL-JNF Director of the Northern Region, in his opening greetings.
Dr. Omri Bonneh, KKL-JNF's chief scientist, presented the lessons learned from the huge fire and how they are being applied on the ground. He began by reviewing the wildfires that transpired on the Carmel over the last thirty years and said, “Sadly, in the past there were thousands of ancient trees that were a hundred years old and even older, but today there are only a few such ancient trees. We allow nature to renew itself, and our main function is to learn from nature and assist it wherever necessary.”
Dr. Bonneh specified some of the main steps taken by KKL-JNF in the last few years in order to protect the Carmel from future wildfires; such as creating firebreaks to prevent the flames from spreading, paving road passes to allow access to fire-fighting vehicles to the focal points of a fire, thinning the pine trees, encouraging grazing to reduce the quantity of flammable material in the forest, developing a system for predicting fire hazards in conjunction with the Israel Meteorological Service and increasing the fire suppression facilities with the support of friends of KKL-JNF worldwide.
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