Israeli firefighters rescued nine puppies that were stuck in a raging forest fire on Jerusalem's Mount of Olives, one of the most historically significant areas in Jerusalem's Old City earlier this week.
"We followed the cries and found puppies trapped in a ring of fire - we jumped into the flames and reached them seconds before the fire arrived," Fadel Alan, the head firefighter, told StandWithUS.
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Wildfires spreading in Israel
Keren Kayemet L'Israel (KKL-JNF) forestry teams and Israel's Fire and Rescue Services fought at least 176 separate forest fires across Israel last Saturday, amid a severe heatwave felt throughout the country earlier in the week and on Friday.
In the north of the country alone, 53 fires had to be put out on Saturday. The coastal area saw 32 fires, the greater Jerusalem area 28, the south 24, the central region 22, while the West Bank suffered 14 blazes throughout the day.
Preparing for further blazes
In preparation for wildfire season and its growing risk associated with climate change, Israel's Fire and Rescue Services and several emergency rescue services carried out extensive fire-preparedness exercises late last month in the Jerusalem mountain area of Mateh Yehuda.
The exercise required the active participation of commanders, police officers, firefighters, and local emergency personnel.
Jerusalem District Commander Doron Turgeman emphasized the importance of such comprehensive exercises in light of the upcoming summer months.
"The integrated exercise involving all emergency and rescue agencies, alongside civilian actors, in dealing with extreme events and fires, holds significant relevance and meaning at this time," he said. "Over the years, we have confronted substantial and challenging fires in open areas and joint efforts have been crucial in effectively tackling these situations."
Turgeman further emphasized that the primary objective during firefighting events remains the preservation of human lives. Combating fires, both on the ground and from the air remains a collective responsibility.