Since Thursday, December 2, the Israel Air Force AF has been coordinating the arrival and incorporation of foreign firefighting aerial assistance. Dozens of firefighting airplanes and helicopters, as well as supply planes carrying equipment and professional teams and experts from different countries have arrived in order to assist in fighting the Carmel fires.
Starting Friday morning, comprehensive aerial firefighting activity has been conducted in coordination with the security and rescue teams operating on the ground. The IAF organized an emergency operations center in order to coordinate and utilize all Israeli and foreign aerial support for fighting the fire.
Large numbers of IAF support teams have been dispatched in order to assist the teams in the disaster area:
- Command and Control teams
- IDF soldiers and officers to man and assist in the situation room located at Haifa University
- IAF aerial coordination and guidance teams
- 2-4 observational aircrafts to direct ground forces fighting the fire
- Foreign assistance aircrafts have been directed to land at IAF air bases.
Overall during the past days the following aircraft landed in Israel (updated 13:00):
Overnight between Thursday and Friday (2-3 December):
- One Bulgarian Airbus 319 plane carrying Bulgarian firefighters
- One Greek C130 plane
Friday (3 December):
- Four Greek CL415 planes
- One THRUST550 airplane and one B412 helicopter from Greece
- Two British assault Griffin helicopters
- Two Turkish CL215 planes
- One IL76 plane from Russia
- One B200 plane from Russia
Saturday (4 December):
- One French DASH8 plane
- One Russian IL76 plane
- One Russian 42YAK plane
- One Italian transport plane C130J carrying fire extinguishing chemicals
The IAF is expecting further foreign assistance and aircrafts from several additional countries including Switzerland, Russia, Netherlands, France, Azerbaijan and Romania. In addition, a large civilian American firefighting plane is expected to land shortly in the Ben Gurion airport.