December 3, 2010
International aid arrives as Carmel fire continues to rage
U.K. sends fire-fighting helicopter from Cyprus base; Obama pledges American aid to help fight blaze sweeping through Israel's north.
Seven fire-fighting aircraft landed in Israel early Friday, the first arrivals of a planned international airlift sent to aid the battle against a massive brushfire ripping through northern Israel.
Over 15,000 residents, including 600 prison inmates, were evacuated as the blaze raged out of control, devastating hundreds of acres of pine forest before sweeping down the slopes of the Carmel plateau towards Israel’s third largest city.
The first of the international fire-fighting planes included a Bulgarian aircraft, carrying 100 Bulgarian fire fighters and accompanied by the country’s deputy foreign minister.
Other craft included 4 fire-fighting planes sent by Greece, one sent by Cyprus as well as a fire-fighting plane sent by the government of Azerbaijan. Two Turkish aircraft are expected to land at the Ramat David Israel Air Force base later in the morning.
Read more at HAARETZ.com.