Australia to Help Israel Fight Bushfires

Australia to Help Israel Fight Bushfires

06 Dezember 2010

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Israel —  Australia on Sunday answered Israel’s call for assistance to fight bushfires in the country, which have claimed over 40 lives.

With Israel experiencing an unusually hot and dry start to winter, the worst bushfires in Israel’s history broke out in the country’s north, razing thousands of acres of land.

The Fires has been burning out of control in a forest near Haifa of Israel since Thursday, and seen 12,000 people evacuated and at least 40 people have died in the incident.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced a team of aviation experts would be deployed from Melbourne of Australia for Israel on Monday morning, in order to help control and direct fire- fighting aircraft.

The team of aircraft officers will be led by Victoria’s chief fire officer Ewan Waller, who was one of those at the helm during the Victoria’s deadliest Black Saturday bushfires in the Australian history with at least 209 being killed.

“The call for assistance from Australia was for people with very specific skills in managing fire-bombing aircraft in a forest fire environment,” Waller, who has also traveled to Israel to compare forest fire management operations in 2007, told Australia Associated Press on Sunday.

“They will be managing fire bombing operations, aerial intelligence gathering and tactical deployment of aircraft in the fire fight.”

Gillard said Australia is also making moves to provide chemical fire retardants if Israel requests for them, and will leave the door open to possibly providing more resources.

The move came after a formal request from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to help battle the forest fire.

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