Orchards Against Fires: The New Program to Defend Towns from Fire

KKL-JNF completed the establishment of Israel's first "Orchard Barrier", at the Arza stream near Mevasert, in a field that provides protection to the residents from forest fires. Experience shows that orchard trees are far more resilient to fire, and that a well-nurtured orchard can hold fires back.
KKL-JNF has planted about 1,000 trees, including almond, carob, Atlantic terebinth, olive, strawberry, wreath and pomegranate. The orchard is part of a program aimed at preventing forest fires throughout the country, and recover from them as quickly as possible.
Over the past five years, the Mevaseret area saw two large forest fires. KKL-JNF's experience in fighting forest fires shows that beyond holding back fires, its trees enrich the landscape, bear fruit and attract insects and animals. The orchard is meant to keep the field green and attractive, and make sure that it does not burn easily.
The orchard in Mevaseret is also unique in the community activity held in it throughout the years, lead by Eyal Harush – a community activist and educator. Activities held in the area included the rebuilding of agricultural steps, tree planting and cleaning days that included the removal of trash.
Members of the "Kol Hamevaser" Yeshiva, located nearby, come to work on a daily basis with Eyal. They took place in planting the orchard, and they will help KKL-JNF with the orchard's maintenance: trimming, planting grass, and controlled herding.
Gidi Bashsn, KKL-JNF Manager of the Mountain Area: "With our extensive experience in fighting fires and maintaining the forests, we understand the unique importance of the orchards in holding back the fires. With them, we can plan the structure of Israeli forests and protect nearby towns. The plan will many people from future fires."

צילום: מאור אלרון, מהנדסת יער קק״לPhotograph: Maor Elron, Forest Engineer, KKL-JNF