on Sunday afternoon brought fresh breezes of optimism to Mount Carmel,
as no major fire sites now remain in the north. Small areas, however,
are still burning, and the firefighters, with KKL-JNF teams among them,
are dealing with them as we write (Sunday morning).
Reports on Sunday
afternoon brought fresh breezes of optimism to Mount Carmel, as no
major fire sites now remain in the north. Small areas, however, are
still burning, and the firefighters, with KKL-JNF teams among them, are
dealing with them as we write (Sunday morning). Thirty-five firefighting
planes, led by the American Supertanker, are still flying over the
areas that continue to burn.
both in Israel and throughout the world, has already launched a
spontaneous initiative to rehabilitate the Carmel Forests, and people
have begun to donate funds for both future planting and for the
extensive restoration work that will be necessary before planting can
start. But, much as we all long to see the Carmel turn green and fertile
again as quickly as possible, KKL-JNF is approaching the rehabilitation
work with caution, and we shall all have to be patient and allow nature
to take its course as, with the help of KKL-JNF, it begins to heal and
Yisrael Tauber, Director of KKL-JNF’s Afforestation
Department, explains that it is the organization’s policy not to rush to
replant the burned areas. “During the first year there will quite
definitely be no planting in the extensive areas that have been burned,”
he emphasizes. “Planting will take place in those areas that are used
mainly for recreation – around picnic spots or tourist sites, for
example – so that the public will get at least some of the landscape
back in a few years’ time, rather than in another 50 years, as would be
the case if we waited solely for nature to take its course.”
Tauber says that rehabilitation will be assisted in a number of important ways:
prevention: As no vegetation will be present to stem the flow of water,
KKL-JNF will use a variety of methods to prevent erosion in the burned
woodlands – for example, by piling scorched tree stumps and branches
along contour lines.
2.Infrastructure restoration and clearing
of debris: All the following have to be removed: damaged trees that
present a danger; burned equipment from recreation areas; and fallen
trees mown down by the bulldozers that cleared paths and created
firebreaks to prevent the flames from spreading, etc.
fire prevention: Firebreaks must be created to prevent the spread of
future fires, and, even more importantly, woodland must be thinned and
burned vegetation removed.
4.Care of the naturally regenerating
woodland: The forest will indeed regenerate, but it will do so in
unnecessary profusion. This means that it will need to be thinned and
shaped into a beautiful forest suitable for recreational purposes and
beneficial to the environment. If this work is not done, the trees will
stifle one another and will not grow up healthy. This activity will
continue for years, until the trees reach a certain specified height.
continuing dryness prevailing in Israel at present was one of the
reasons for the tremendously swift spread of the fire and the huge
damage it has caused. Many people throughout the country are praying for
rain, which this year has been late in making its appearance. In fact,
rain is expected to begin late Sunday night. Experts, however, say that
if heavy rain were to fall on Mount Carmel at this stage, it would cause
damage to the woodland’s fauna and flora. This is because, although the
earth appears scorched, it still contains “banks” of undamaged seeds,
together with organic material vital to the regeneration of the ground.
If this material is swept away by rain before the restoration process
gets underway, the damage will be even greater than at present. This is
why KKL-JNF experts are preparing to carry out extensive tests in the
woodland before embarking on its rehabilitation.