At ten o’clock Wednesday night, we feared that we would shortly be evacuated from our home. We could see the flames in the forest below Moshav Neve Ilan, the small community to the west of Jerusalem where we live. We also saw fire racing up a distant hill across the valley. Along with other residents of Neve Ilan, my wife Jodie and I stood watching the flames, worried that danger was quickly approaching.
But there was something strange, and this was what saved us. We couldn’t smell smoke. The fire was barely 2 kilometers away but with a strong wind behind us, the wildfire was spreading to the west. Down the valley and towards Highway 1, the main highway leading into Jerusalem.