Prior to 1948 the area has been used by locals for their livestock - the animals eat dry leaves which makes it more difficult for a fire to break out. The locals also planted different kind of trees, fruit trees, olives and so on, which are more resistant against fire than pine monocultures.
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France, U.S. target Islamic State with two strikes in Iraq (Reuters)
from the article: Israel might have been able to prevent Carmel fire, reports show