|Carmel Mountains, Israel|
Clearly, this precious area of Israel will never be the same again. In total, 42 lives were lost, nearly 12,000 acres were blazed, some five million trees were destroyed and upwards of 74 buildings were burned to the ground. Several thousand families were displaced, and reportedly, the total rescue aide package is estimated at around $16.5 million. The losses are massive and seemingly irreparable. San Diegans, the Carmel fire is a uncomfortably close reminder of the fiery destruction that befell a massive chunk of San Diego county in the fall of 2003.
Though the fires in northern Israel have thankfully been extinguished completely, the road to recovery is a long one, as we all well know from tragedies such as Hurricane Katrina, the destructive earthquake in Haiti from earlier this year or the deadly 2004 Indonesian tsunami. Donations for the rescue effort here in Israel can be made to a number of organizations including JAFI (Jewish Agency for Israel) or the JNF (Jewish National Fund). Your money will go toward finding homes for displaced families, replacing demolished firefighting equipment and planting thousands of trees in order to rebuild the natural forest that was lost.
|Example of a large sand storm|
|Jerusalem sand storm|