The deadliest forest fire in the history of Israel claims 44 lives.
The fire started on Mount Carmel in northern Israel. Much of the precious forest in the region was quickly consumed by the devastating fire, 17,000 people were forced to flee their homes, 9,900 acres of forest were destroyed, and 5.5 million trees burned.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the world to help fight the fire.
Of the 44 lives claimed in the fire, 37 were prison service officers in a bus. A fallen tree trapped their bus in a ball of fire. The bus was on its way to Damun Prison to evacuate prisoners from the path of the flames. A day of national mourning was declared in Israel to remember the lost lives.
Peter Youngren and I recently visited the spot where the fire claimed the lives of the 37 prison service officers. Charred remnants are all that remain of this once lush forest reserve.
The fire caused widespread damage to property. At least 9,900 acres of forest were destroyed. According to officials, nearly half of the 37,000 acres of the Mt. Carmel Forest reserve were destroyed in the fire. Officials say it could take dozens of years to rehabilitate the area.
Now, the rebuilding process begins. The land had to rest for one year before planting new trees. Now, you can answer the call for help.