Photo Credit: Nava Halvani/TPS-IL
Israeli fire crews battle blazes in the Golan Heights sparked by Hezbollah rocket barrages on June 13, 2024.

Nearly 15,000 acres of land in northern Israel have burnt in wildfires sparked by Hezbollah rocket fire since the beginning of 2024, with 75% of the damage taking place during the first two weeks of June, the Israel Nature and Park Authority said on Sunday.

“Thousands of dunams were burned, we know that there are areas that were burned by a strong fire, and some that were less. In the end, every area that burns – the habitat of the wild animals and plants also burns with it,” said Eran Heims, director of the Authority’s Upper Galilee area.


“In the complex situation that has arisen, at no small risk to ourselves at all hours of the day and night. We all work within the limits and try to reduce the arrival times and thus reduce the damage,” Heims added.

According to the Authority’s data, the areas that suffered the most severe damage so far are in the Upper Galilee and the Golan. Over 7,400 acres were scorched in the Upper Galilee while more than 5,400 acres were burnt in the Golan.

Following blazes in the Biriya and Kerem Naftali forests, Eddi Aharonoff, a spokesperson for the Fire Brigade told The Press Service of Israel that firefighters battling blazes near the Lebanese and Gaza borders carry rifles and pistols, along with protection equipment provided by the army and police.

“We keep saying all the time that we are the only firefighters in the world that are fighting fire under fire,” Aharonoff told TPS-IL.

“When you’re going to extinguish a fire, the temperature can get to 200 or 300 degrees. This can detonate the bullets. You’re actually carrying an explosive in your pocket while fighting the fire. That can be extremely dangerous for our people,” he explained.

Around 60,000 Israelis living in northern communities were forced to evacuate in October when the Hezbollah terror organization began daily rocket and drone attacks. Leaders of the Iran-backed terror group have said they will continue the attacks to prevent Israelis from returning to their homes. Since October 7, the Hezbollah attacks have killed 10 civilians and 14 soldiers.

Israeli officials have been calling for Hezbollah to be disarmed and removed from Southern Lebanon in accordance with UN Security Council resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 Second Lebanon War.

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