Having just missed the infrequent bus to my village yesterday, I started the 35-minute walk home along the road.
But what's this?!
Almost all the trees, albeit dead trees, along the right side of the road had been cut down!
Then I saw the sign:
KKL [Keren Kayemet LeYisrael] is thinning out the forest in this area
in order to create firebreaks and to keep the forest healthy.
You can call us at 02-6204672.
Sorry for the inconvenience.
KKL, Mountain Region
Carefully I looked over the steep and now bare slope.
Down below, a man was attaching a rope or chain to the log so he could skid it out with the tractor. (Click on the photo to find him.)
Others were cutting down tall pines, sawing them up into smaller lengths, stacking them and getting them ready to load on trailers, boiling a pot of coffee . . . .
I felt a tinge of envy . . . .
Last July a forest fire killed these trees in the valley.
That's my moshav (village) in the photo.
The only road out of our village was closed, with fires burning on both sides of the road.
The fire was stopped at the very gate of our village, thank God.
It was a scary time watching the flames come nearer.
There was no way for the fire trucks to get down into the valley, and the few small planes could not work fast enough.
That is why I am so glad that the wake-up call is being heeded now.
Keren Kayemet-Jewish National Fund is on the job, bless them.
And I did, I called the telephone number on the sign, and said a big thank-you.
Even got to speak to the head Forester of the Mountain Region, Eli Yaakov.
He said "Before new trees can grow, the burnt ones must be cut down."
Let us hope and pray the new trees will never feel the pain of a forest fire.