Morethan 12,000 dunams (3000 acres) of natural and planted forests containing morethan 750 000 trees of different species, as well as 50,000 dunams of pastures were dammaged during the war in the north. The most serious dammagesaffected the mountainous region of Naftali, where 7,500 dunams, containing threequarters of the total forest zone were burned. Within the Biria and the BetKeshet forests, more than 2,000 dunams were destroyed by fire.
The cost of restoring the dammages infringed upon forestsamounts to approximately 80 million shekels. This sum includes new planting,tree care and preparing the soil for leplanting, equipment, maintenance of antifire materials and hundreds of tons of prevention materials against fires. Inaddition, tens of millions of shekels are necessary to renovate roads andsecurity paths, camping sites, parks and observation points.
What is needed to restore the forests? ● Clearing burnt materials ● Planting new trees ● Creating firewalls ● Renovating burnt down recreational spaces
Qu’impose le rétablissement de la forêt ? Clearing burnt down materials
During the first year after a forest fire, work is focusedon cutting trees and clearing burnt materials on the site. Simultaneously, theground is protected. During the second and third year, focus is on controlingthe density of the forest as it begins its natural rejuvenation. Burnt down trees are weakened and less apt to resist parasites and other ills.Burnt down trees can be sold to the wood industry immediately after the fire,before they are totally dry. Therefore, cutting down trees is an importantpriority. On the other hand, cutting down burnt trees in a wide zone can affectthe ground’s erosion. It is therefore cricitcal to postpone cutting down thetrees in sensitive areas until vegetation is naturally restored on the firstwinter after the fire.
Nevertheless, after a forest fire, a recuperative cut isimmediately performed. This operation includes several objectivs: exploiting thefinancial potential income of cut down trees, avoiding the development ofparasytes, clearing the area to be replanted and lessen the risk of future fires.
2. Planting new trees
Innatural forests, it isn’t necessary to replant. The forest can regenerateprovided one cares for the area’s living elements, whether seeds or grafts. Inthe case of planted forests, an effort is done to encourage rejuvenation via anadditional replanting when necessary. In any event, natural processes can beexpected within one to two years. Regarding planted forests, it is wise to plantcertain essences which are fire resistant such as the cypresses and eucaliptustrees. Experience has shown that pine and oak trees resotre themselves faster fromforest fires. During the second to third year after a fire, the naturalrejuvenation of young trees becomes very important as it controls the forest’sdensity.
3. Creating firewalls
Firewallsare spaces within forests that block the progression of fires; they are usuallysituated along lines offering enhanced fire department control, either due totheir placement or due to the density of vegetation. They are established alongthe forest’s contouring lines in order to weaken the fires’ intensity and aneffort is made to ensure easy access to firemen. However they also need to besituated on north-south directions, perpendicular to the predominant hot easternwinds. Firewalls need constant maintenance, including trimming, cutting andclearing bushwoods.
4. Renovating burnt down recreational and picnic KKL spaces
Over the last ten years, KKL has enhanced its forests in orderto increase its number of visitors. To this end, picnic sites and recreationalspaces were established in various places in order to accommodate visitors.Fires affected dozens of these sites and considerable investments were made torepair the dammage. Many forest projects will not be renovated as they no longerenjoy the tress’ shade. They will need to be either relocated or removed.