VIDEO: 41 Killed in Stranded Bus, Worst Forest Fire in Israel (Includes Time Lapse of Carmel Hillside in Galilee)

The worst forest fire in Israel’s history on Thursday devastated one of the country’s few forested areas, killing at least 40 guards on their way to rescue inmates at a prison in the fire zone, destroying homes and forcing the evacuation of thousands. The guards, on their way to rescue inmates at the fire threatened Damun prison, were killed when their bus was obstructed by a fallen tree in the roadway. Some guards were burned alive inside the bus, while others died as they tried to flee. Fourteen bodies were found near the charred skeleton of the bus 10 hours after the fire.

Israel is getting firefighting support from Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Russia, Italy and more.

Israel has a total of 1500 firefighters — all are actively fighting the fire. Israel’s firefighting forces have no firefighting planes, but about a dozen privately owned small firefighting planes from Israel are working to assist with firefighting operations.

Video of firefighting air support overlooking the hills of Carmel Park.

Firefighters in Israel struggled for a second day Friday to contain a forest fire which has killed 41 people, displaced thousands and torched some 30 per cent of the Carmel forest in Galilee. Some 30,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in the area.