Huge fire engulfs Mount Carmel in northern Israel

22:13, December 02, 2010      

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A fire that broke out early Thursday in the Carmel mountain range in northern Israel has spread to a huge blaze several hours on, forcing the evacuation of people from their homes and a nearby prison.

Fifteen fire crew are battling the flames despite strong winds in the area and are assisted by water drops from airplanes dispatched to the scene, local news Ynet said.

Spokesman for the Haifa Fire Service, Hezi Levi, told Ynet that the wind is making it harder for the firefighters to control the blaze, which is expected to last for the next several hours. Additional fire crew are being called to assist from other stations in the area and other parts of the country.

Emergency medical crews have been put on alert. No casualties or injuries have been reported so far.

The Israeli Nature and Parks Authority has announced an emergency situation, and is set to begin operations to rescue the wildlife caught in the fire.

The cause of the fire is still unknown. The area engulfed by flames contains dry brush which burns easily.

Source: Xinhua


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