UPDATE: Islamic depravity: Hezb'allah overjoyed by fire (hat tip Choi)
Fire crews fighting blaze's spread from direction of Haifa University; 8,600 acres scorched in Carmel; planes forced to stop flying for the night; helicopters lead to safety 3 fire trucks, police surrounded by flames.
The Carmel fire was spreading late Friday night from the direction of Haifa University towards the neighborhood of Denya in the city. Over 8,600 acres (35,000 dunams) had burned as of Friday evening. Firefighters said that it could take a week before they are able to extinguish the blaze, Channel 10 reported. Winds showed no sign of dying down overnight.
Dan F writes:
The area in northern Israel where a great inferno has been set is home to many Arabs and over the years has seen numerous forest fires, most of them ignited by hostile Arab citizens. The latest news is that two suspects have been apprehended, both residents of a Druze Arab village in the region, Daliat el-Carmel. Ironically, this town is a tourist attraction that’s shown off as a model of Arab assimilation into Israeli society.
Perhaps its best if the "international community" not consider this an attack, or jihad - or they won't send help. Seriously, they won't. The latest in the suspected arson cases:
The police inspector-general said that there were, however, a number of suspected arson attacks in the North, but that the cause of the large Carmel fire was still unknown.
Police have said that additional fires in Kiryat Bialik and Tivon were both caused by arson.
A separate wildfire was reported Friday afternoon in a field near Route 70, in the southern Carmel mountains near Bat Shlomo (south of Haifa). Route 70 was closed to traffic in both directions.
Huge Israeli Forest Fire Kills 36 Israeli Guards Racing to Save Palestinian Prisoners The worst forest fire in Israel's history on Thursday devastated the Carmel forest in Israel's Galilee, killing at least 36 guards on their way to rescue inmates at a prison in the fire zone, destroying homes and forcing the evacuation of thousands. Most of the 41 dead were students on the Prison Service's guards' course racing through the fire toward a prison to evacuate the inmates, most of them Palestinians. A tree fell across the road, blocking their bus. Some guards were burned alive inside, while others died as they tried to flee. (AP-Ha'aretz)
See also Video: Israel Battles Biggest Wildfire in Its History (Telegraph-UK)
See also Haifa Police Chief Critically Injured in Fire - Fadi Eyadat The head of the Haifa Police Department, Deputy Commander Ahuva Tomer, was critically injured in the fire on Thursday. She was in a car behind the bus full of prison guards that burned up in the flames. (Ha'aretz)
See also International Community Sends Help in Fighting Fire - Yaakov Lappin The first of 23 international aircraft carrying firefighters, supplies and fire retardant chemicals landed in Israel Friday morning. According to Army Radio, in addition to four Greek aircraft, four aircraft are expected to arrive from France, three from Britain, two from Spain, two from Russia, two from Turkey, two from Cyprus, two from Bulgaria, one from Croatia and one from Azerbaijan. (Jerusalem Post)
See also NY Mayor Bloomberg, U.S. Forest Service Send Fire Retardant to Israel - Jordana Horn (Jerusalem Post)
See also Netanyahu Thanks Turkey's Erdogan for Aid - Attila Somfalvi Netanyahu also thanked other world leaders, including Bulgaria's prime minister and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who sent "a very large Russian plane, perhaps the largest of its kind in the world." (YnetNews)