The University of Haifa remains closed through the beginning of this new work week “until further notice”. It is being used as command central for all of the forces working to putting out the fire, so I (Sarah) am working at home and meeting with my co-author here instead of in the lab. I am scheduled to give a talk on campus on Wednesday, but we will have to see whether we are allowed to return by then. Noah & Roy are going to the Technion as usual.

The University is located at the top of the mountain and we live halfway down the mountain on the opposite side of where the fire is. So, we are close, but not in danger. Since we live in the north of the country, most of our travels since we arrived 3 months ago have been in this area, including many of the evacuated areas, so we feel quite attached to the Mt. Carmel region and the nature reserve and very sad about the loss.

24 hrs. after the fire started, taken from in front of my apartment looking south

Sitting at home, even protected from the fire by the mountain, we can still smell the smoke (it permeated the apartment today with a change in the wind), see the haze in the air, and hear the constant buzz of the fire-fighting airplanes. When I work at home, I usually hear only the birds outside and the occasional car; now I hear engines from planes and helicopters every couple of minutes.

one of the firefighting planes (I heard that yellow is Bulgaria, but I don't know for sure)

Yesterday we went sightseeing with Roy’s parents and as we drove south down the coast, we drove through a thick plume of smoke that was drifting west to the sea. We considered turning around and going home, but by the time we reached a point on the road where we could turn around, we were already through it, so we decided to carry on.

48 hrs. after the fire started. looking north to the fire from highway 2.