Large wildfires occurred in Haifa, Israel’s third largest city on November, 2016. Wildfires reached residential areas, forcing people to evacuate. A total of 600 houses were damaged during the wildfires.
The first wildfire was reported in the Haifa area on November 24th. SAFEY Emergency System sent alerts to users in the area several hours before major media outlets picked up the story. The alerts advised travelers to avoid the area, and for them to expect disruptions to travel. Many roads were blocked due to rescue work.
Later users were warned of health risks to people with respiratory conditions, and disruptions to power supply and telecommunications. High winds, dry conditions and high temperatures were unusual for that time of the year. All of which, contributed to the rapid spread of wildfires.
Dozens of people were injured due to smoke inhalation.
SAFEY continued to monitor the situation after the largest fire was brought under control, and provided updates on other active fires in the region. Plus, the availability of public transportation services.
Advice to travelers:
- Avoid the area near where the fire is burning.
- Follow advice and instructions given by local authorities. Evacuate immediately if instructed to do so.
- Close all doors, windows and vents; turn off air condition and ventilation.
- Stay indoors due to hazardous smoke or gas.
- Seal gaps under doorways and windows with wet towels/plastic sheeting, and duct tape.