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August 30, 2015 / 15 Elul, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘fire’

Firefighters Extinguish Blazes around Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria

Sunday, July 26th, 2015

Six firefighting aircraft and eight ground crews of firefighters were kept busy Sunday from the late afternoon into the evening hours battling blazes at locations in a long-distance ring all around Jerusalem.

The fires were burning in forests near Elon Moreh, Maale Adumim, Beit Shemesh and Gva’ot — each in a different direction around the capital.

Elon Moreh is located in Samaria, north of Jerusalem and Maale Adumim is an eastern suburb close to the capital, located in the desert hills. Beit Shemesh is a forested suburb just west of Jerusalem; and Gva’ot is in the westernmost area of the Gush Etzion bloc in Judea, not far from Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh, towards the central plains area called the “Shfela.” Dozens of families were evacuated in the Samaria Jewish community of Elon Moreh as the forest fire burned dangerously close to the houses in that area. In the other communities, the fires blazed farther away, with residents watching anxiously but fortunately not needing to leaving their homes.

By evening even the largest of the fires was under control, officials reported. It is not yet clear what started the rash of wildfires, although the weather has been exceptionally hot with extremely dry conditions.

Beit Shemesh Forest Fire ‘Worst Since Carmel’

Saturday, July 25th, 2015

Hundreds of firefighters battled a forest fire that tore through the Beit Shemesh area on Friday, destroying nearly 2,000 dunam of woodland.

The blaze has been dubbed “the worst fire since the Carmel disaster” – one that could take the land up to 20 years to recover.

It is not yet clear what started the fire, although officials believe it may have been connected to an authorized fire in a nearby moshav. The extreme heat and dry conditions of the past week, plus a breeze, could have carried a spark from that fire into the nearby forest and up the hills, spreading the blaze, a Jewish National Fund (JNF) official said.

Firefighters from Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh spent the entire day on Friday working to bring the blaze under control. Natural forest and woodland, vegetation and uncultivated land all was leveled to ash.

“Seventy fire trucks with the help of other authorities, among them the police who worked to evacuate communities and civilians,” were involved in the effort, said Kobi Tobol, commander of the Beit Shemesh-Jerusalem District Fire Department.

“Everyone worked throughout the entire day and managed to stop the fire from reaching residential areas. Despite that, in such a big fire, the damage to nature and to the animals is massive and will require many years of rehabilitation.”

Gilad Mastai, Jewish National Fund head of the coastal area and Shfela Plains, explained the forest, planted in the 1950s and 1960s, was relatively old. “Beyond that, resting stops and trails were also damaged,” he told the Hebrew-language Ynet website. “This fire burned grown and large trees in addition to the destruction of the undergrowth of thicket growing under the pine trees.

“There are jackals, snakes and tortoises in the area that were burned and trapped in the fire. This is dozens of years of damage. A unique vacation spot was taken from the people of Israel,” he said.

Nevertheless, Mastai suggested that people return to the forest in the coming year anyway, to “see how it rehabilitates itself.”

Firefighting in Jerusalem

Sunday, July 5th, 2015

Firefighters fought a large fire in Ein Yael, Jerusalem, located opposite the Biblical Zoo, and up the road from Malcha Mall.

A firefighting plane had to be called in to control the blaze.

Firefighter in Ein Yael

Arabs Terrorize Worshipers in Jerusalem’s Ancient Shiloach Yemenite Synagogue

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

Worshipers at an ancient synagogue in the Yemenite village in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Shiloach (Silwan) came under attack by terrorists over the Sabbath and Shavuot holiday.

Arabs from the nearby Abu Tor neighborhood hurled rocks and bottles at the synagogue, Jewish residents told the Hebrew-language “0404” website.

“It was an outright miracle that no one was hurt,” one worshiper said. “They threw rocks and bottles all during the Sabbath and the holiday.”

The Arab terrorists also set fire to an area close to the Jewish neighborhood, local Jews said.

At 8:30 p.m. Saturday night, just as the Sabbath was coming to an end and the holiday of Shavuot was getting underway, flames rose into the air in an area between Abu Tor and the Jewish neighborhood.

Firefighters fought the blaze for two hours before they were able to bring the fire under control. Investigators told 0404 that initial findings have confirmed evidence of arson at the site.

Fire Breather on the Roof

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

A 37-year old Chareidi man, Meir Lebel “haRakdan haYerushalmi” (the dancing Jerusalemite), was seen breathing fire at the Kotel, the Tower of David and other locations in Jerusalem’s Old City on April 29, 2015.

Fire breathing is the act of creating a plume of fire by breathing a stream of fuel over an open flame. Lebel has performed as a “fire breather” since the age of 12, and performs at different events in the Chareidi community, in order to spread happiness.

Fire breather 3

Fire breather 2

Brooklyn Family Killed in Shabbat Fire

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

A Brooklyn family in Midwood was destroyed when a fire ripped through their home early Saturday morning.

The fire was described as the deadliest fire in New York City in eight years.

As the family slept, a fire began the kitchen, apparently from a malfunctioning “blech”, an electric hot plate.

As Orthodox Jews do not cook on Shabbat, various other solutions are used to keep food warm throughout the Shabbat, such as specially designed electric hotplates.

Smoke and fire raced up to the second floor of the house on 3371 Bedford Avenue between Avenue L and M.

The fire department believes that smoke detectors may not have been installed on the first and second floors, though a smoke detector was found in the basement.

The Sassoon family members who were killed were identified as Eliane, 16; Rivkah, 11; David, 12; Yehoshua, 10; Moshe, 8; Sara, 6; Yaakov, 5.

The mother, Gayle Sassoon, 45, and her 14-year-old daughter, Tzipora, survived by jumping out a window, and are currently hospitalized with burns.

The fire department arrived within minutes and fought their way through the fire getting the children out and to the hospital, but they didn’t survive.

The father was not home at the time, and neighbors believe he is currently at a conference.

The Use of Fire May Have Begun In Israel 350,000 Years Ago

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

A study of artifacts in an ancient cave near Haifa indicated that humans first started using fire there approximately 350,000 years ago, Scienemag.org reported.

The Tabun Cave, located approximately 12 miles south of Haifa, “is unique in that it’s a site with a very long sequence,” according to University of Haifa archaeologist Ron Shimelmitz. His new study examined  “step by step how the use of fire changed in the cave.”

The Tabun Cave is rich in artifacts. It was occupied intermittently from 500,000 to around 40,000 years ago.

“Researchers examined artifacts previously excavated from the site, which are mostly flint tools for cutting and scraping, and flint debris created in their manufacture,” Sciencemag wrote.

An examination of approximately 100 layers of sediments in the depths of the cave deposits showed that none of the flints were burned from a period of approximately 350,000 years ago. Layers above that exposed many flints with red or black colors or cracking that showed they had been exposed to fire.

The researchers wrote in the Journal of Human Evolution that since wildfires were rare in cases, they were controlled by those who lit them.

There are indications from other sites that humans used fire before then but there is no conclusive evidence that they were  able to master its use.

Debates still rage among experts whether the use of fire actually began up to 2 million years ago or only more recently.

Harvard University’s Richard Wrangham said the Tabun caves study was “exciting” but not enough to convince him.

He agrees with Prof. Shimelmitz agree that whenever fire began, it changed the lives of humans by allowing them to cook and keep warm.

“There’s a reason people think we got fire from the gods,” Shimelmitz added.

 

 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/the-use-of-fire-may-have-begun-in-israel-350000-years-ago/2014/12/13/

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