- Title: Homes and woods burnt as Israeli wildfires spread
- Date: 25th November 2016
- Summary: HAIFA, ISRAEL (NOVEMBER 25, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF HOUSE IN FIRE, FIRE TRUCKS OUTSIDE BUILDING FIRE TRUCKS OUTSIDE HOUSE VARIOUS OF SMOKE BILLOWING OUTSIDE HELICOPTER AT SCENE VARIOUS OF FIRE AT MOUNTAIN VARIOUS OF RESIDENTS LOOKING AT FIRE FIRE VARIOUS OF AIRPLANE SPRAYING FIRE RETARDANT MAN LOOKING AT AIRPLANE VARIOUS OF HOUSE IN FIRE VARIOUS OF AIRPLANE EXTINGUISHING FIRE FIRE-FIGHTERS EXTINGUISHING FIRE TRUCK DRIVING BY BURNT CARS BURNT CARS WOODS AFTER FIRE VARIOUS OF BURNT STATUE RESIDENT OF HAIFA, MICHAL ZAMIR, ENTERING BURNT HOUSE VARIOUS OF ZAMIR AT BURNT HOUSE BURNT HOUSE (SOUNDBITE) (English) RESIDENT OF HAIFA, MICHAL ZAMIR, SAYING: "My mother lives here and yesterday when we heard that there is fire here we went away. And about midnight we came back and we saw all this mess, all the albums here that is the memory of my parents are burnt out. And that is all." ZAMIR LOOKING AT BURNT DOCUMENTS AIRPLANE EXTINGUISHING FIRE
- Embargoed: 10th December 2016 07:31
- Keywords: Israel fires woods houses
- Location: HAIFA, ISRAEL
- City: HAIFA, ISRAEL
- Country: Israel
- Topics: Environment,Weather
- Reuters ID: LVA00159XYA13
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Wildfires tore across central and northern Israel on Friday (November 25) forcing tens of thousands of residents to flee the city of Haifa, as leaders blamed arsonists for some of the blazes and branded them "terrorists".
The fires have been burning in multiple locations for the past three days but intensified on Thursday (November 24), fuelled by unseasonably dry weather and strong easterly winds.
With fires burning in the forests west of Jerusalem, around Haifa, on central and northern hilltops and in parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, the government sought assistance from neighbouring countries.
A thick haze of smoke hung over Haifa, which rises up from the Mediterranean Sea overlooking a large port. Schools and universities were evacuated, and two nearby prisons transferred inmates to other jails, a prisons service spokesman said. Patients were moved out of a geriatric hospital.
A resident of Haifa, Michal Zamir came to check her mother's house after the fires.
"My mother lives here and yesterday when we heard that there is fire here we went away. And about midnight we came back and we saw all this mess, all the albums here that is the memory of my parents are burnt out. And that is all," Zamir said.
A lack of rain combined with very dry air and strong easterly winds have spread the fires this week across the centre and north of the country, as well as parts of the West Bank. Hundreds of homes have been damaged or destroyed but no deaths or serious injuries have been reported.
Local weather forecasters have said the tinder-dry conditions - it has not rained in parts of Israel for months - and strong winds are set to continue for several days and they see little prospect of normal seasonal precipitation arriving.
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