Posts Tagged 'wildfire'

Day of Mourning – Carmel Fire

Thursday, Dec. 2nd, will be declared a National Day of Mourning in Israel, to commemorate one of the toughest disasters in our country’s history – The Carmel Wildfire (still raging). Emergency forces are describing the fire using war terms, and many agree that, excluding the wars – this disaster is the biggest and most complicated Israel has ever faced.

Carmel Fire, Thursday night (Dec. 2nd)

Carmel Fire, Thursday night (Dec. 2nd), at Tirat Hacarmel. By Niv Calderon

Starting small near the Village of Nucleus (also see Google Map below) on Thursday at 10:45am, the wildfire picked up with the winds, changed direction west to road 721, and trapped a bus conveying 40 Prison Guards on route to evacuate a nearby detention facility. 37 died on the bus, 3 escaped, presumed dead.

The remains of the prison guards' bus

The remains of the prison guards' bus, Carmel Fire. By Niv Calderon

Pictures by Niv Calderon. Additional pictures from the disaster area at

View שריפה בכרמל – חדשות 2 באינטרנט in a larger map

The fire burst on the 2nd day of Hannuka, a Jewish holiday celebrating the victory of the Maccabees over the Seleucid Empire, marking the rededicating of the Temple in Jerusalem (Second Temple). The olive oil in the temple’s eternal fire was enough for one day, but miraculously it burned for 8 days – exactly the time needed to prepare fresh olive oil.

Carmel Fire, captured by The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite.

Carmel Fire, captured by The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite. Click image for original

My heart goes out to the families who have lost their loved ones and to the emergency forces working around the clock to extinguish the fire. Special thanks to Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Britain and Russia for sending their fire-fighting aircrafts to assist.

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