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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Israel's new squadron of fire-fighting planes is now ready for action

A firefighting plane drops fire extinguishing material over a fire in the town of Tirat Hacarmel, northern Israel, Friday, Dec. 3, 2010.

Israel purchased the squadron after 2010's devastating Carmel wildfire; One of the planes was put on alert due to expected hot and dry weather this weekend.

A new squadron of fire-fighting planes purchased after a massive wildfire ravaged Israel's Carmel region last year successfully completed its first training exercise and is thus now able to be used.

One of the planes was put on alert on Tuesday due to expected hot and dry weather, which will continue throughout the weekend.

The new squadron is named after Elad Riven, the teenage volunteer firefighter who was killed in the Carmel wildfire. The squadron contains seven Air Tractor 802 planes, which cost around 70 million shekels.

Although the squadron is now ready to be used, it will only officially be launched on May 4, following a ceremony which the prime minister is set to attend.

The Carmel wildfire, which occurred at the end of 2010, was recently in the news with fire victims announcing plans to sue the state over lack of compensation which was promised by the government.