Police commissioner Dudi Cohen expressed hope Friday that the massive fire that claimed the lives of 41 people will be extinguished by Saturday evening.
In a briefing meeting Cohen said that the fire started in one site and that investigating teams will know whether it was a result of negligence or arson by Saturday. Meanwhile aerial extinguishing efforts in the Carmel region have been suspended over the darkness.
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"We are now able to say that the Carmel Mountain fire originated from one site only," he said.
The commissioner further noted that the foreign aid in containing the fire brought on a significant improvement but that the fire has not been completely contained as of yet. He stated that over 17,000 people were evacuated from their homes in 14 different communities in the last 24 hours.
"This attests for the drama that is going on in the Carmel Mountains which I hope will reach an end tomorrow evening."
Firefighters on Friday managed to contain the fire near Beit Oren, the kibbutz whose homes were completely burned down, however rescue forces continue to battle the flames.
The fire contiunes to rage on in several centers: South and north of the Hai Bar nature reserve, near Nir Etzion and near Isfiya. Meanwhile, police arrested two Daliyat al-Karmel residents Friday who hurled a bottle. They are suspected of attempting to reignite the fire.
Aerial extinguishing efforts have been suspended for the night for difficulties operating in the darkness. Firefighters are trying to block the fire from spreading into communities. On Friday, firefighters in the north battled additional blazes, separate to the Carmel fire.
A brush fire broke out near Bat Shlomo near route 70 joining blazes in Kiryat Bialik and Kiryat Tivon where there were suspicions of arson.
Police located two Daliyat al-Karmel residents aged 35 in the Mukhrahkah area in the Carmel area Friday after they hurled a possibly flammable bottle. Haifa police forces arrested the two who are currently being questioned. Police are looking into the possibility they tried to perform arson.