Dozens gathered at the Bat-Yam boardwalk, lighting bonfires and barbecuing. Lauren, a fifth-grader, told Ynet that she and her friends have been collecting wood for the bonfire for five days. "We made a huge bonfire, we have snacks and we're going to have a blast."
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Mickey Shabbat, a contractor, said that since children are known to be looking for wood in construction sites ahead of Lag B'Omer, he made sure that spare wood would be piled up near the site, "where kids can see it. It's my gift for them for the holiday.
"We did the same thing when we were kids," he added, "we'd go in to construction sites and pick up some wood."
Bonfire in Tel Aviv (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
"Our parents warned us against going into dangerous places," said Oren, an eighth-grader, "but construction sites keep piles of wood near the fence or outside the compound, so there's no problem. We just hurry so we can get the wood before other kids do."
Celebrating Lag B'Omer in Bnei Brak (Photo: Yaron Brener)
Avi Kordova with the Dan District Fire Department said that firefighting forces were prepared for holiday fires on Saturday and Sunday. "Since early afternoon we have been touring around areas with bonfires, making sure that none of them are dangerous.
"We'll do our best not to put fires out; we understand that this is a holiday."
Throughout Saturday, fires erupted across the country, few – mostly in the Netanya area – as a result of Lag B'Omer bonfires that spread out of control, and many others as a result of a heat wave that is expected to last until Sunday.
Neri Brenner contributed to this report
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