Major Fire in Jerusalem Forest; Homes Evacuated
A major fire broke out on Sunday in the Jerusalem Forest, near the Har Herzl military cemetery and the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial project. Some 150 dunam of forest were destroyed before the blaze was under control and the flames were stoped several hundred meters before reaching the Pi Glilot fuel storage facility.
The fire spread quickly through the woods due to the heat. Eight firefighting squads were working to extinguish the blaze all afternoon. They requested planes to help as well.
Five people suffered mild injuries due to smoke inhalation. Police closed some roads in the area, including at least one entrance to the city, due to concerns that the fire could reach the road. Traffic backed up for miles on roads in and coming into the city.
In addition, visitors were evacuated from Yad Vashem, and some homes were evacuated in the Har Nof neighborhood.
As they battled the Jerusalem Forest fire, firefighters were alerted to a second blaze south of the capital, near Tzur Hadassah. Police are investigating a suspicion of arson as the fires are now known to have broken out in five places simultaneously.
Late last week a major forest fire raged in the Golan region in the north for almost 24 hours. The fire burned 10,000 dunams of land and caused three women to suffer light injuries from smoke inhalation.
Officials have blamed the Golan blaze on careless hikers.
Pictures courtesy of Flash 90