After the driest conditions in 60 years, the region of Northern Israel has been on fire for the past few days. The fire is thought to have started near the Druze village of Isfiya (Osfiya/Ussefia) and quickly spread north. A bus carrying prisoners from Damon prison and their guard escort were caught in the fire and perished. A total of 42 people are thought to have died but forensic examination is continuing because the remains are so badly affected by the fire.
The fire moved up to Haifa University and was so close to the Denya district that many there were evacuated. But the fire then moved west and is now hopefully contained in the Carmel Hai-Bar Nature preserve (the green area to the left of Haifa University):
As you can see from the map, before the fire can even approach the Baha’i World Centre on Mount Carmel, the fire would have to hypothetically go through several major residential neighbourhoods. There is very little risk of that and with international help, Israel will hopefully be able to contain the fire and put it out by the weekend. Cyprus, Egypt, Jordan, France, UK, Croatia, Russia, Spain, and Romania have sent firefighting airplanes to Israel to combat the fire.
Here is a map showing the fire areas in red and the evacuation areas in blue (thanks to Steve at Bahaisonline.net):
You can keep up to date with the dynamic version of this map.
You can see some stunning pictures of the Haifa fire here.