On Dec. 1, 2010 a huge forest fire broke out in Northern Israel‘s Carmel region. The fire burned for days, decimating about 12,300 acres of land. 42 people lost their lives in the fire and many people are homeless as a result of the fire. The fire was apparently started by negligence.
Some of the animals in the area were killed while others managed to escape the fires. Animals which managed to hide in holes in the ground have survived. Birds flew away and will return of their own accord. One concern is that animals which escaped from the region will now compete with other animals for food in their new home, disrupting delicate ecosystems.
According to officials, nearly half of the 37,000 acres of the Carmel Forest reserve have been destroyed in the fire. Officials say it could take dozens of years to rehabilitate the area. Luckily, the animals in the reserve were saved.
Fire and wind disseminate seeds, so it is expected that large numbers of ants will shortly reappear in the region. Their underground homes will have helped them survive.
The Israeli government has allocated funds for the rehabilitation of the flora and fauna of the Carmel Nature Reserve damaged in the fire, as well the Hai Bar Carmel animal park, campgrounds and the Carmel Farm. Sine the fire was put out before it destroyed all the forestry in the region, it is expected that seeds and animal life will restore the forests and the vegetation.