Officials: 22 dead, 25 seriously injured in Israeli forest fire
December 2nd, 2010
11:42 AM ET

Officials: 22 dead, 25 seriously injured in Israeli forest fire

[Updated at 11:42 a.m.] At least 22 people are dead and 25 seriously injured in a forest fire in northern Israel, according to the country's ambulance service, which initially said 40 people were killed.

[Posted at 10:18 a.m.] Some 40 people have been killed in a raging fire near Haifa in northern Israel, Israeli ambulance service officials told CNN Thursday.

The fire broke out in the Carmel forest region. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told CNN that some 3,000 square meters of trees were up in flames.

Rosenfeld said that a bus in the area overturned and emergency forces were trying to reach it. A spokesman for Israel's prison authority said the bus was carrying prison employees and that no prisoners were on board.

It is not clear how the fire started.

Firefighters were continuing to fight the blaze as authorities evacuated communities in the area.

The fire has been bolstered by strong winds and has torched tens of square kilometres of forest, cutting power and covering Haifa in smoke.

Inmates of the Damon prison were forced to evacuate and were sent to temporary jails nearby.

Police are investigating if the blaze started in an illegal dumping ground.

soundoff (170 Responses)
  1. I hate morons!

    Of course Israel has forests..it has lakes, mountains, gardens, desert, oases, beaches, rivers - it is a beautiful and diverse nation. f you haven't been there get the Eff off this post because you know nothing of the land, the conflict, the people who live there – Jews, Muslims, and Christians alike who are perfectly capable of living in peace together - you just read the bad stuff. Go! I encourage all of you to go. it will allow you greater clarity as to what is really happening there and then you can forge your own opinions instead of relying on the bullsh-t information/propoganda we get here. Most of you are haters for the sake of hating and because your parents were stupid inbreds with closed minds who taught you be the same.

    December 2, 2010 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      I'll be honest, I had to google pictures of the forest, I was thinking more acacia filled, more than a forest that is typical in the US, China and Europe. I DO occasionally forget there is lush land in Israel as well as desert.
      As for miserable, ignorant SOB's who can't get along with anyone else, the US has no monopoly on them, but is most certainly trying to corner the market...

      December 2, 2010 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Angela

      You should write here more often. We are all surrounded by imbeciles.
      The world needs some clarification regarding what Israel really is. Unfortunately, the only "Americans" who find out about this are either involved in politics or American Jews who take a free 10 day trip to Israel with "Birth-right" and see for themselves.

      December 2, 2010 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  2. Katie

    I feel sorry for the forest. Poor forest and forest dwelling non human animals.

    December 2, 2010 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
    • LarryKegel (USA ARMY)

      I have Family in Haifa!!! I'm hoping to hear they are alright!!!

      December 2, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. DaveKicker

    There are forrests in the dessert? Or were all 40 people hanging out under two trees?

    December 2, 2010 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      Forrest is a name. A forest is a place with a lot of vegetation. Dessert is what you eat after all other courses of your meal, typically it is sweet. A desert is a place with minimal vegetation and is very dry.

      December 2, 2010 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • LarryKegel (USA ARMY)

      It is the 2nd day today of Our Holiday!!! I'm sure They were there for the Holiday!!!

      December 2, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      Israel is small one tree would be a forest to them. That is the reason why they try to grab someone else's land. It always about them, no one else. If you don't fall in love with them. Then you are an anti-semites.

      December 2, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Snooks

    The Zionists will probably blame this on Palestine and airstrike them again..

    December 2, 2010 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • LarryKegel (USA ARMY)

      You are a Idiot!!!

      December 2, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mark Mywords

    AH HA HA HA HA HA. Karma is a biatch!!!!

    December 2, 2010 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  6. Karma Iscoming

    AH HA HA HA HA HA. Karma is a biatch!!!!

    December 2, 2010 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  7. Lina

    I have been to Israel on many occasions. It is a beautiful country and people that live there take great care of it. There are many parks and forests that were planted by people of Israel. Each tree is protected there and irrigated. It is a really visible difference between Israeli territories and arabs villages. Arab lands are dry, grey and littered with garbage. There are no trees. They do not take care of the land they fight for.

    December 2, 2010 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  8. shehebe

    To those of you who are surprised Israel has forests: As one of the most environmentally conscious countries on the planet, Israel, by means of Israeli hands, have been sustainably planting trees for over 60 years. Unfortunately, Hizbollah rockets launched into the North of the country during the 2006 Lebanon War destroyed over 1 million of them. Before anyone launches in on a hateful tirade like, "Good for the Lebanese!" there are thousands of good, non-Hizbollah-loving Christian and Muslim Lebanese that do not want to destroy Israel, because the country has been very good to them. Thousands regularly cross the border to receive quality medical care and other life-saving services. Haifa is also the high tech capital of Israel. It's where the Intel chip, cell phones, miracle drugs and other things you and the rest of the world use every day were developed. Just a note just in case you're planning to type out more hateful messages against Israel: it's Israeli products, know-how, generosity of spirit and deeds and freedom of speech that make your rants possible. (Also, the next time you mouth off AGAINST Israel, perhaps you can explain what values you stand FOR.)

    December 2, 2010 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      Beware the Lebanese table, for you will find yourself an unwary victim to EVERY delight from the entire med region. 😉
      Beware the vineyards of Carmel, especially the Rishon, for you will find yourself wishing to replace water with their fine wines.
      Beware the forests of Carmel, for you may become lost and not WANT to find your way out.
      The rest is far from bad as well. One need only remember to treat others as one wishes to be treated and greet others with a smile to avoid many problems.

      December 2, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • LarryKegel (USA ARMY)

      Very will put!!! Amen To That...

      December 2, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Philip Sharac

    "Israel is a country, a people (descendants of Jacob), and a modern nation"

    There are blond hair and blue eyed descendants of Jacob, how?

    December 2, 2010 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Fortis

      From your amazement I can draw a conclusion you were personally accuinted with Jacob and his family? Or you have seen his photos? Or you had a chance to read confirmed personal descriptions left by Jacob's neighbours? Or you just assume that everybody who has ever lived in the Middle East had to be swarthy, short, black haired, hook nosed, and dark eyed? Then you are wrong. Not only your assumption is not applicable to most Jews, but many Persians, Arabs and even prophet Muhammad himself would not be considered Middle Easterner according to your standards. And there are much more evidence of Muhammad's outlooks as those of semi-mythical Jacob.

      December 2, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Camkid

    Stupid CNN!! Misleading headlines as if Israel was on fire! Here is the article from jpost.com

    http://www.jpost.com/NationalNews/Article.aspx?id=197730

    December 2, 2010 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  11. blatant fool

    3000 sq metres is the size of a football field. How did 40 people die in a "forest" there? Later the story says it has burned tens of square km, but 1 sq km is 1,000,000 sq m.

    I expect more from CNN.

    December 2, 2010 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  12. fdssdf

    pfff just can't believe on some people here...

    40 people died, BURNED ALIVE, and you guys here making fun of it... grow up

    December 2, 2010 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  13. Pat

    Were they unable to climb over the wall they built ?

    December 2, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • LarryKegel (USA ARMY)

      Have You ever been in a fire??? I'm sure if They could have gotten out They would have...

      December 2, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alexni

      Great comment about the wall. For everyone else look up the massacres at the Jenin and Shatila refugee camps caused by the Jewish, Zionist, Israeli, Hebrew, whatever people.

      December 2, 2010 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. USA

    Never seen so many losers assembled in one forum. No wonder this great country of ours stands no chance.

    December 2, 2010 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
    • TonyL

      So now you can move to Israel, the best country and people in the world.

      December 2, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • LarryKegel (USA ARMY)

      TonyL: Why don't You go to Hll???

      December 2, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Galina

    So... Anyone's up for BBQ around Haifa? Great view....

    December 2, 2010 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • LarryKegel (USA ARMY)

      Another Idiot has spoken!!!

      December 2, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • LarryKegel (USA ARMY)

      What We Need is Another Idiot has spoken!!!

      December 2, 2010 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4