Wildland fires in Israel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Israel, located at the eastern side of the Mediterranean Sea basin, is characterized by a strong north-south climatic gradient. The southern parts of Israel transition from a hyper-arid environment to a xeric-Mediterranean one, and to a mesic-Mediterranean climate in the northern part of the country. Until the end of the 19th century most of the country was denuded of vegetation due to timber felling and overgrazing. Since the beginning of the 20th century natural succession processes took place alongside with intensive afforestation efforts. Currently approximately 18% of the Mediterranean areas of Israel are considered as forested lands. On average, close to 1000 wildfires occur annually, consuming ~3,700 ha. The fire regimes of two regions in Israel are described in detail, the Carmel Mountain ridge and the Golan Heights. In the Carmel, a region dominated by maquis and forested areas, we identify two periods of different fire regimes: until the middle of the 1970's and after it. The latter period is characterized by a higher frequency of large fires. Further, repeated fires result in a change of the vegetation communities, shifting to dominance of herbaceous vegetation. In the Golan region, an area dominated by herbaceous vegetation communities, large fires occur frequently. In contrast to the Carmel region, however, repeated fires do not seem to alter the structure of the vegetation communities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWildland Fires
Subtitle of host publicationA Worldwide Reality
EditorsAntónio Bento-Gonçalves, António Vieira
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781634834087
ISBN (Print)9781634833974
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 by Nova Science Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Fire regime
  • Israel wildland fires
  • Mediterranean ecosystems
  • Mt. carmel
  • The Golan heights

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science


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