Tragedy has struck Israel today, as a fire rages through our parched country.  Dozens of lives have already been claimed, a major evacuation has been ordered, and homes are being consumed in a wave of fire.

At this moment, firefighters are battling the blaze which started in the Carmel Forest near Haifa.  As the fire rapidly progressed towards the Damon Prison, cadets from the Prison Service officers’ course rushed to evacuate the 500 prisoners housed there.  Tragically, as the bus carrying the officers rushed to the scene via a narrow mountain road, their bus was engulfed in flames and 40 perished.

As the fire continues to spread, 10,000 residents of northern Israel are being evacuated.  Cyprus, Greece, and Spain are sending 10 fire extinguishing planes, which will be put into action tomorrow.

The Rechovot Municipality has opened an emergency phone line (1255084106) to coordinate between evacuee families that want to be hosted and volunteers that want to take in families.  Also, Magen David Adom is always in need of blood donations, and donation opportunities are available.