The Jerusalem Municipality has decided to adopt a novel approach to fighting fires and has deployed herds of livestock to prevent fires in the forests and open areas throughout the city.
With the coming of the summer and hot and dry weather, and while noting the fact that forest fires usually start from low vegetation that spreads rapidly to shrubs, to treetops and every other flammable thing in the area, the Jerusalem Municipality has decided to take creative steps to prevent the blazes, especially in wooded areas which are not accessible by vehicles.
The municipality has “recruited” 150 sheep and goats and 11 camels to graze in these areas to thin the growth. The herds are creating bald spots in the fields near the forests that greatly reduce the possibility of the fire spreading.
The pilot is being conducted by the municipality in cooperation with a herd owner from the Umm Lisson neighborhood and in coordination with the veterinary service and the Israeli police.
The pilot is taking place in selected areas to examine the effectiveness of this “green” fire prevention method. The animals have a “work plan” and they are grazing in areas that are prone to fires.
Terrorism Suspected as Cause of Mass Blaze in Center of Country
The police suspect that a mass blaze the raged through the night in the center of the country was ignited by terrorists in the Palestinian Authority (PA).
A massive fire broke out near the cities of Elad, Rosh Ha’ayin and the Nahshonim industrial area on Monday night. The flames were fanned by the unusually hot and dry weather and by high winds.
17 firefighter teams and eight firefighting airplanes worked throughout the night to gain control of the blaze and extinguish it.
No one was injured by the fires and no damage was caused to property, but some 3,700 acres of natural woodland, most of it a nature reserve, was consumed by the flames.
The police suspect that the fire was ignited by terrorists in the PA-controlled area and then spread to Israeli territory.
Arab terrorists over the years have adopted arson as a weapon against Israel, taking advantage of the dry and hot weather to ignite fires and cause mass damage to property as well as the loss of life.
Israel is in the midst of the longest documented heat wave in its history, as temperatures that climbed to record heights are expected to last until the weekend.
The National Weather Service accessed its archives and has found that such a prolonged heat wave is unprecedented in Israel’s documented history.