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Israel counts cost of wildfire

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Israel counts cost of wildfire

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Israel is still battling the biggest forest fire it has ever known. While the flames have been beaten in some areas, they continue to gain ground elsewhere.

All that remains this morning of a coach that had been carrying prison guard cadets is a burnt out shell. It is not yet clear how many of those on board perished.

The coach is a snap shot in a vast landscape of devastation, as the country processes the horrific statistics: at least 40 dead so far, 12,000 people forced to flee their homes in a dozen towns and 2,800 hectares of land already destroyed.

The fire is believed to have started at an illegal dumping ground near Carmel Hills on the outskirts of Haifa in the north.

After a hot November, the driest in 60 years, the blaze quickly spread.

Despite its strained ties with Israel, Turkey is one of eight countries providing help with aircraft and flame retardants.