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IDF Helps Fight Fire as Blaze Moves on Haifa

Firefighters bring the massive blaze to a halt at the edge of Tirat Hacarmel, but it continues to move on Haifa's Denia neighborhood.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 12/3/2010, 10:16 AM / Last Update: 12/3/2010, 10:33 AM

Flash 90

Firefighters in Tirat HaCarmel reported Friday morning that they had succeeded in halting the progress of the massive blaze heading for their area. However, the fire continues to move toward the Denia neighborhood of Haifa.

More than 2,500 residents of Dania have been evacuated, bringing the total number of evacuees to 15,000.

Local volunteers have joined in fighting the fire. In addition, soldiers from the Golani and Kfir brigades have been called in to help.

IAF planes helped overnight by lighting up the skies over the fire and affected regions to give firefighting crews a better view of the area. Military medics and doctors are prepared to offer medical assistance, and military equipment – including water tanks, tractors, and D9 bulldozers – has been put at the disposal of the firefighting units.

Troops from the Homefront Command assisted in the evacuation of special-needs populations, and set up lights to ease evacuation.

Firefighting efforts have been hampered by a shortage of the chemicals used to fight major fires, and by Israel's lack of firefighting planes large enough to use against a huge blaze such as that currently raging in the north. The government has turned to the international community for help and several countries have answered; Bulgarian assistance arrived Friday morning.