The largest fire in Israel's history scorched more than 7,000 acres of land, destroyed houses and revealed shortcomings in the ability of local emergency services to tackle such a disaster.
"The fires are still not under control and the strong winds are making things worse," the chief of Israel's fire service, Shimon Romah, told Israel Radio.
Israel appealed for international help on Thursday and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Greece, Cyprus, Britain, Jordan, Bulgaria and Russia had all heeded the call, as well as Turkey, which laid aside recent diplomatic strains to send aid.
Egypt, Azerbaijan, Spain, Croatia, France had also offered contributions, with Israel waking up to the fact that it had few effective means of its own to tackle the inferno.
"I think this symbolises an unprecedented response to our request for international help," a sombre Netanyahu said after chairing an emergency meeting of his cabinet in Tel Aviv.
A huge pall of smoke was clearly visible from the Mediterranean port of Haifa, just to the north of the fire, and authorities ordered the evacuation of 15,000 residents around the Carmel Ridge, where the blaze was focused.
At least 41 people died on Thursday, mainly prison service officer trainees, when their bus was engulfed in flames as they headed towards a prison to help evacuate 500 inmates to safety, emergency services said.
Witnesses said the coach was confronted by a wall of fire and was unable to do a U-turn on a winding, hill road, giving its passengers no chance to escape.
The first of the victims were buried on Friday and there was barely concealed fury that so many people should have died in a country that carries out regular drills to rehearse for attack from its many enemies and spends billions of dollars on arms.
"Yesterday's catastrophe is just an example of the powerlessness that Israel's emergency services suffer from," said top-selling Israeli daily, Yedioth Ahronoth.
"What would we have done if faced with dozens and hundreds of missiles that might have ignited fires in several areas, including urban areas with multi-story buildings?"
Fire crews from across Israel were mobilised to combat the fire, which was believed to have started at an illegal garbage dump. But critics said they responded too slowly to the emergency and were woefully ill-equipped.
Netanyahu said plans would be presented to the government in the coming week to buy fire-fighting aircraft.
While northern Europe freezes in an early winter, Israel has had unseasonably hot weather and suffered its driest November in 60 years. The parched land meant the fire spread with devastating speed through the densely-wooded hills.
Some Israeli newspapers speculated that the fire might have been started deliberately, and one suggested it might prove to be the "worst terror attack" in Israel's history.
There was no official word on why the fire took hold.