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Trash Fire Causes Worst Wild Fires in Israel’s History

Wildfires on Mount Carmel, a scant 25 miles from Nazareth, have been raging out of control for some three days.  We walked out to Mount Precipice on Thursday evening and could see the smoke curling up in the distance. Our friends living in Haifa fear evacuation from their homes.

Over 17,000 people have been evacuated from the Mt. Carmel area including the outskirts of Haifa, and 42 have been confirmed dead, mostly from a bus that caught fire en route to evacuating prisoners from a prison in the line of the fire.  While there have been rumors that this tragedy is a terrorist or arsonist attack, the latest reports suggest that the fire was caused by a routine (but illegal) trash fire from an improvised landfill.

We are saddened by this tragic event, and sobered to think how many more fires could be started by the problem of improper trash disposal, improvised land fills, and trash burning.  Along the first day of the Jesus Trail, we are working with local municipalities and volunteers to try to quell the spread of unsightly and dangerous trash dumps.  We can’t even imagine the devastating consequences if areas of the Jesus Trail would catch fire, not only endangering the environment of this area of global heritage, but also profoundly impacting the lives of our friends and partners along the trail who could lose their homes and livelihoods.

Donate today to support our efforts of trash cleanup and environmental education in the Galilee.  Join us and people of all faiths in the region in praying for rain.  View more information at: http://jesustrail.com/about/cleaning-the-jesus-trail.

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