Wildfire Season is Approaching: Start Summer Responsibly, Protect Forests and Open Spaces

By Channel 7

Top KKL-JNF experts talk about the important measures being taken to prevent fire outbreaks - both in the forests and near settlements.
As summer approaches, so does the fear of wildfires. Channel 7 joined KKL-JNF and heard from the persons responsible for the efforts to minimize fire damage, including their prevention, within the forest areas and in the areas close to settlements and homes.
Micha Silco, Manager of the Western Galilee-Carmel Region at KKL-JNF says: “Every year we have to deal with hundreds of fires in the forests. The initial response to a forest fire is the KKL-JNF fire truck. Each block of woodlands has its own fire truck and skilled fireman crew, who have undergone the specialized training necessary for putting out forest fires”.

צילום: עמוס לוזון, ארכיון הצילומים של קק"לPhotos: Amos Luzon, KKL-JNF Photo Archive

Mor Ashkenazi, who is in charge of peacetime fire protection at KKL-JNF: “Buffer zones around settlements are the ‘last mile’ in protecting the settlement. Following the 2010 fire in the Carmel, we initiated the practice of creating and maintaining buffer zones around settlements in an effort to reduce the amount of combustible material in the forest”.
“By now we have established buffer zones around settlements in 95% of the total lands managed by KKL-JNF. There are still 5% remaining, in total this means some 50 thousand Dunams (5,000 hectares), which we maintain as buffer zones”.
Adi Kliger, Carmel-Alonim Forest Ranger in KKL-JNF, said: “We are pleased when visitors come to our forests. It is extremely important that they should concentrate in the areas we designate for this purpose, in which lighting of fires is permitted and the likelihood of a fire in such areas is very low. For us, it is important that people light fires only in the areas intended for that”.

צילום: בלה נודלמן, קק"לPhoto: Bella Nudelman, KKL-JNF

Alaa Fahmaoui, a fire truck driver in KKL-JNF spoke about a fire he was involved in and said: “This happened at Hof Carmel on a day of severe heat. A group of youngsters lit a barbecue fire and abandoned it without putting it out. Several hours later a slight wind began and sparks flew in the direction of the underbrush. The result was a huge fire. We also notified the local residents there of a mandatory evacuation since the fire was coming dangerously close to the settlement”.
Released on July 6, 2023