Israel struggled to contain a huge and deadly forest fire that raged on, despite the efforts of firefighting planes from half a dozen countries. The worst inferno in Israel’s history has killed 41 people, forced 17,000 to flee their homes and destroyed some 10,000 acres (4,000 hectares) of woodland near the port of Haifa. Foreign firefighting planes joined the battle to contain the blaze after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appealed for help because of a shortage of such aircraft in Israel. Planes and helicopters from the United States, Spain, Azerbaijan and Switzerland were expected to join those from Russia, Turkey, Greece, Britain, France and Cyprus, already dumping water on the flames.

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

01. A man stands beside his car as he looks at the forest fire in the Kibbutz of Beit Oren, northern Israel, December 2, 2010. (REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

02. A woman stands on the pavement as smoke bellows from a forest fire, south of the Northern Israeli city of Haifa December 2, 2010. (REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

03. A fire-fighting plane flies over a forest fire that broke out in the kibbutz of Beit Oren in the north of Israel December 2, 2010. (REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

04. A burnt-out bus is seen after it was engulfed by the blaze from a forest fire that broke out in the Carmel Forest, near the northern Israeli city of Haifa December 2, 2010. (REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

05. A forest fire is seen in the kibbutz of Beit Oren in the north of Israel December 2, 2010. (REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

06. Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men look at a forest fire that broke out near kibbutz Beit Oren in the north of Israel December 2, 2010. (REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

07. A fire that broke out in the Carmel Forest near the northern Israeli city of Haifa is seen in this aerial view taken December 2, 2010. (REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

08. Israeli paramedics evacuate an injured policewoman from the scene of a forest fire that broke out near kibbutz Beit Oren in the north of Israel December 2, 2010. (REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

09. The bodies of victims from a bus that was trapped in a forest fire that broke out in the Carmel Forest, are seen on the road near the northern Israeli city of Haifa December 2, 2010. (REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

10. People watch a forest fire that broke out near the outskirts of the Druze village of Osafia in the north of Israel December 2, 2010. (REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

11. Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu walks away from the podium during a ceremony in Jerusalem December 2, 2010. (REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

12. People sit in the courtyard of their house after electric supplies were cut off due to a fire inside the Druze village of Osafia in the north of Israel December 2, 2010. (REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

13. People who were evacuated from their houses, rest in a hotel lobby in Haifa in the north of Israel December 2, 2010. (REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

14. Israeli firefighters put out the massive forest fire that broke out Thursday in the Tirat HaCarmel in the north of Israel December 3, 2010. (REUTERS/BAZ RATNER)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

15. A firefighter walks next to the burnt-out bus that was carrying mainly prison service officer trainees that were caught in a fire as they were headed towards a prison to help evacuate inmates to safety near Kibbutz Beit Oren in the north of Israel December 3, 2010. (REUTERS/BAZ RATNER)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

16. Israeli firefighters put out the massive forest fire that broke out Thursday in the Tirat HaCarmel in the north of Israel December 3, 2010. (REUTERS/BAZ RATNER)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

17. A synagogue surrounded by smoke from the massive forest fire that broke out Thursday is seen in the Tirat HaCarmel in the north of Israel December 3, 2010. (REUTERS/BAZ RATNER)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

18. An Israeli firefighter prays in the early hours of the morning in Tirat HaCarmel in the north of Israel December 3, 2010. (REUTERS/BAZ RATNER)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

19. A resident of kibbutz Beit Oren stands next to houses after a massive forest fire broke out on Thursday in the north of Israel December 3, 2010. (REUTERS/BAZ RATNER)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

20. A Canadair firefighting aircraft from Greece arrives at Ramat David airforce base in northern Israel December 3, 2010. (REUTERS/STR)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

21. Canadair firefighting aircrafts from Greece arrive at Ramat David airforce base in northern Israel December 3, 2010. (REUTERS/STR)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

22. A firefighting aircraft flies over a forest fire on Mount Carmel near the northern city of Haifa December 3, 2010. (REUTERS/STR)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

23. Fire fighters put out a forest fire in Tirat Carmel near the northern city of Haifa December 3, 2010. (REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

24. A firefighter walks amongst trees burnt in a forest fire outside Kibbutz Beit Oren near the northern city of Haifa December 3, 2010. (REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

25. A firefighting aircraft drops water over the forest fire in Tirat Carmel near the northern city of Haifa December 3, 2010. (REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

26. Fire fighters put out a forest fire in Tirat Carmel near the northern city of Haifa December 3, 2010. (REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

27. Rescue workers walk amongst trees burnt in a forest fire outside Kibbutz Beit Oren near the northern city of Haifa December 3, 2010. (REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

28. Fire fighters put out a fire as a firefighting aircraft drops water over a forest fire in Tirat Carmel near the northern city of Haifa December 3, 2010. (REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

29. A Canadair firefighting aircraft drops water over a forest fire on Mount Carmel near the northern city of Haifa December 3, 2010. (REUTERS/BAZ RATNER)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

30. A firefighting aircraft drops water over a forest fire near Yemin Orde Youth Village on Mount Carmel in northern Israel December 3, 2010. (REUTERS/BAZ RATNER)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

31. A firefighter stands in Tirat Carmel near the northern city of Haifa during a forest fire December 3, 2010. (REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

32. A Canadair firefighting aircraft from Greece drops water over a forest fire on Mount Carmel near the northern city of Haifa December 3, 2010. (REUTERS/BAZ RATNER)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

33. A Canadair firefighting aircraft from Greece drops water over a forest fire near Yemin Orde Youth Village on Mount Carmel in northern Israel December 3, 2010. (REUTERS/BAZ RATNER)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

34. A Canadair firefighting aircraft from Greece drops water over a forest fire on Mount Carmel near the northern city of Haifa December 3, 2010. (REUTERS/BAZ RATNER)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

35. Firefighting aircrafts from Greece and Turkey fly over the Mediterranean sea near Atlit naval base south of Haifa December 3, 2010. (REUTERS/BAZ RATNER)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

36. People watch as a firefighting aircraft from Turkey flies after it collected water from the Mediterranean sea near Atlit naval base south of Haifa December 3, 2010. (REUTERS/BAZ RATNER)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

37. A Royal Air Force helicopter takes part in efforts to extinguish a forest fire near Yemin Orde Youth Village on Mount Carmel in northern Israel December 3, 2010. (REUTERSBAZ RATNER)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

38. Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) stands in front of a fire-fighting aircraft from Turkey at Ramat David airforce base in northern Israel December 3, 2010. (REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

39. A fire-fighting aircraft from Turkey is seen on the runway at Ramat David airforce base in northern Israel December 3, 2010. (REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

40. A British Royal Air Force helicopter collects water from the Mediterranean sea near Atlit naval base as it takes part in efforts to extinguish a forest fire on Mount Carmel in northern Israel December 3, 2010. (REUTERS/RONEN ZVULUN)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

41. A man stands next to his bicycle as he looks at a forest fire on Mount Carmel, near the northern city of Haifa December 3, 2010. (REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

42. Israeli firefighters carry the body of their comrade who was killed in a forest fire outside Kibbutz Beit Oren near the northern city of Haifa December 3, 2010. (REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

43. A firefighting aircraft flies over a forest fire on Mount Carmel near the northern city of Haifa December 3, 2010. (REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

44. A firefighting aircraft flies over a forest fire on Mount Carmel near the northern city of Haifa December 3, 2010. (REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

45. A firefighter tries to extinguish a forest fire near Kibbutz Beit Oren on Mount Carmel, near the northern city of Haifa December 3, 2010. (REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

46. The remains of a burnt-out bus that was carrying mainly prison service officer trainees is seen near Kibbutz Beit Oren on Mount Carmel December 3, 2010. (REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

47. A fire tries to save a burning house after a forest fire hit the area of Ein Hod, near the northern city of Haifa December 4, 2010. (REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

48. Firefighters try to save a burning house after a forest fire hit the area of Ein Hod, near the northern city of Haifa December 4, 2010. (REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

49. A helicopter dumps water over a forest fire on Mount Carmel near the northern city of Haifa December 4, 2010. (REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

50. A plane drops fire retardant over a forest fire on Mount Carmel near the northern city of Haifa December 4, 2010. (REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

51. An Israeli firefighter puts out the remains of a fire on Mount Carmel near the northern city of Haifa December 4, 2010. (REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

52. A Greek plane drops water over a forest fire near the village of Ein Hod near the northern city of Haifa December 4, 2010. (REUTERS/RONEN ZVULUN)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

53. A Greek plane drops water over a forest fire in the village of Ein Hod near the northern city of Haifa December 4, 2010. (REUTERS/RONEN ZVULUN)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

54. Firefighters sleep in a tourist parking lot in the early morning before their next shift to combat a forest fire near Ein Hod near the northern city of Haifa December 4, 2010. (REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

55. A Greek plane drops water over a forest fire in the village of Ein Hod near the northern city of Haifa December 4, 2010. (REUTERS/RONEN ZVULUN)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

56. A fire truck tries to control a fire on the access road near Ein Hod near the northern city of Haifa December 4, 2010. (REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

57. A fire fighter walks past a burning house in the village of Ein Hod near the northern city of Haifa December 4, 2010. (REUTERS/RONEN ZVULUN)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

58. Fire fighters spray water on a burning house in the village of Ein Hod near the northern city of Haifa December 4, 2010. (REUTERS/RONEN ZVULUN)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

59. Yuval Kainer examines a piano after a fire gutted his home in the village of Ein Hod near the northern city of Haifa December 4, 2010. (REUTERS/RONEN ZVULUN)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

60. Yuval Kainer puts out the remains of a fire which gutted his home in the village of Ein Hod near the northern city of Haifa December 4, 2010. (REUTERS/RONEN ZVULUN)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

61. Ziva Kainer looks through a doorway after a fire gutted her home in the village of Ein Hod near the northern city of Haifa December 4, 2010. (REUTERS/RONEN ZVULUN)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

62. Water bombers fighting a forest fire take on water in the Mediterranean near the northern city of Haifa December 4, 2010. (REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

63. A water bomber fighting a forest fire flies past people on the beach after taking on water from the Mediterranean near the northern city of Haifa December 4, 2010. (REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

64. A water bomber fighting a forest fire flies over a man with a dog on the beach after taking on water from the Mediterranean near the northern city of Haifa December 4, 2010. (REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

65. An Israeli soldier takes a photo as a plane drops water over a forest fire on Mount Carmel near the northern city of Haifa December 5, 2010. (REUTERS/RONEN ZVULUN)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

66. Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looks at a Boeing 747 Supertanker as it flies over Mount Carmel, near Haifa December 5, 2010. The Supertanker was flown in from the United States to assist in efforts to extinguish a forest fire. (REUTERS/RONEN ZVULUN)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

67. A Boeing 747 Supertanker, flown in from the U.S. to assist in efforts to extinguish a forest fire, drops flame retardant as it flies over Mount Carmel, near Haifa December 5, 2010. (REUTERS/RONEN ZVULUN)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

68. Firefighters look as a plane dumps water over a forest fire on Mount Carmel near the northern city of Haifa December 5, 2010. (REUTERS/RONEN ZVULUN)

Deadly Israeli Forest Fire

69. Local residents spray water on burning trees in the village of Ein Hod near the northern city of Haifa December 4, 2010. (REUTERS/RONEN ZVULUN)