The feeling is getting stronger at the Haifa District Attorney's Office that charges won't be filed against the two youths suspected of starting the giant Carmel Ridge fire last year, according to a Sunday-evening report by Channel 2 television, which cited lack of evidence. The two occupants of Ussafiya were arrested on suspicion of starting the blaze by smoking a nargila and throwing the coals away without making sure they were out before they went home, aware of the fire but not reporting it to authorities.
Prosecutors said, Sunday evening, that no decision had been made. More than 40 people died in the fire, including a Haifa police commander and a busload of Prisons Service cadets who were trapped en route to evacuating a prison in the fire area. Damage to the forest was estimated at 30 million shekels.