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Israel wildfires rage on despite outpouring of help

JERUSALEM - The worst fire in Israel's history showed little sign of abating Friday. After two days, the unchecked blaze had killed 42 people, consumed more than 7,000 acres and nipped at neighborhoods in the northern city of Haifa, Israel's third-largest.

By Friday, the flames had engulfed several kibbutzim and was racing down hills toward Israel's heavily traveled coastal highway. At least 15,000 residents were evacuated.

In the small country every inch of land is precious, but Israel has not invested in the equipment and personnel needed to combat wildfires that have become pervasive in recent years amid high temperatures and drought.

The fire has brought international support at a time when Israel has felt isolated diplomatically. Turkey, which has had a strained relationship with Israel since Israeli troops seized a Gaza-bound Turkish aid ship in May, sent two planes. Britain, Greece, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Russia and Jordan also sent help.

Turkey and Greece set aside their political differences and flew sorties together to douse the flames.

- The Washington Post


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