Fire at B'Tselem building Jerusalem, January 10, 2016.
(photo credit: BERNARD BOUHADANA)
srael is the safest country in the world in terms of fire fatalities, the head of the Fire and Rescue Service claimed this week.
Speaking at a meeting of the Knesset Internal Affairs and Environment Committee, Fire and Rescue Service Commissioner Shahar Ayalon said only nine people died in fires in 2015, a sharp drop from the 70 who died in 2010, and a little over half the 17 Israel victims in 2013.
The 2010 figures include the 44 Israelis killed in the Mount Carmel forest fire; most of them Prisons Service cadets sent to evacuate a security prison in the North when their bus was trapped by flames.
According to World Health Organization data, Israel had 0.38 fire deaths per 100,000 people in 2014, ranking the country 153rd out of 172.
The statistic was cited during a meeting to discuss a Jewish National Fund plan to spend NIS 250 million creating “burn areas” between forests and around 450 residential areas in Israel.
The measure was suggested by the state comptroller in a report ordered following the Carmel fire.
JTA contributed to this report.