Israel fires 'due to negligence'

Israel fires 'due to negligence'

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Firefighters try to extinguish the flames in Tirat Hacarmel, northern Israel (AP)

An initial investigation suggests negligence was the cause of the worst forest fire in Israel’s history, a police spokesman has said.

Micky Rosenfeld said arson was probably not the cause of the blaze, which has killed 41 people since Thursday, burned down thousands of acres of forest and prompted the evacuation of 17,000 people.

He said the investigation was continuing and would not give further details.

Mr Rosenfeld said that, despite foreign firefighters helping to battle the blaze, it was still out of control in tracts of northern Israeli forest.

Some residents of two more communities were evacuated today as the fires licked at their edges.

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