Sunday, July 17, 2011

Another forest fire, the Jerusalem Forest

The Jerusalem Forest was burning all afternoon.
Mostly old pines planted by the Jewish National Fund/Keren Kayemet back in the 1950s.
Those who wanted to quickly "redeem the land" in the young state back then surely did not realize that pine trees are the most combustible and dangerous trees.

From my house I could see the smoke rising; the flames were down in the wadi.
At least four little planes buzzed over my house, going back and forth with water and maybe also flame retardant, until the darkness stopped them.
They say the fire is just about under control now, tonight. Thank God.
Enlarge the photo to get the lay of the land.

The Har Nof neighborhood is on the left. Its residents were told to stay home and close their windows.
Smoke inhalation sent several to the hospital.
Behind the green mountain is Mt. Herzl, the mount of remembrance.
Yad Vashem, our Holocaust memorial center, came dangerously close to going up in smoke.
Imagine if the archives and artifacts from the Shoah had burned . . . how awful that would have been.
But while Yad Vashem was being evacuated, the director sent his men out with hoses even before the fire engines could get there. He stood firm and would not be moved.
Our thanks to the brave pilots, fire-fighters and volunteers who saved the day.
Information in Haaretz is here.


Leora said...

I'm glad to hear the danger is mostly over.

Why do people do such vicious things.

VP said...

This is not good, I hope they learned from the past errors...

Hels said...

Very scary :(

Yes, pine trees are the most combustible and dangerous trees; they were not a good choice way back after WW2. But even less combustible trees can be destroyed in bush fires. So risk reduction and risk management strategies need to be put in place asap. Before another bush fire.

Yad Vashem's historical treasures are so important to the entire Jewish world that Yad Vashem must be fireprooofed immediately. Even if there is no money to do it.

diane b said...

Forest fires are always a worry, I am glad the museum was saved. Hope you were not affected by the smoke. The post on the acoustic walls was very interesting too.

crystal said...

I'm glad the Holocaust memorial center was ok. I didn't realize it was in the hills. Hope the fire is put out soon.

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

Oh my gosh...I'm thankful that Yad Vashem was not damaged! I cannot imagine such a horrible thing.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

So sorry to hear about the fires Dina,we had so many drastic fires here this summer in Perth, unfortunately a lot of them were started deliberately, can't even begin to understand why someone would do that!

Petrea Burchard said...

Brave people, brave story. You've had more than your share of fires. Still with the drought, Dina?

Kay said...

Not again! There's been horrific fires in New Mexico and Arizona. It was very scary. Jon said you could smell it in Albuquerque. I hope you'll be safe this summer.