Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke Wednesday with the leaders of Greece and Croatia, asking them for assistance in helping put out wildfires across Israel.
After an extremely dry summer, Israel has been battling its most serious wildfires since 2010. Firefighters were able to control wildfires Wednesday in the northern communities of Zichron Yaakov and Gilon, enabling residents to return home. But there were some 220 fires burning throughout the country on the same day. Israeli police have stepped up patrols over concerns that some of the fires have been started by arsonists.
“I asked for an immediate increase in the request for the planes,” Netanyahu said during a visit to Israel’s north, noting that during a wildfire in Israel six years ago, dozens of aircraft were brought in from abroad to help put out the fires.
“Today, because we have our own squadron, our needs are not as great, but there are certain needs for perhaps a number of aircraft that we would request from our neighbors,” he said.
On Thursday morning, six firefighting aircraft arrived in Israel, from Italy, Greece and Russia. They will go into operation on Friday.