Huge Fires Near Jerusalem, Haifa
Two fires described as "huge" broke out Wednesday afternoon near Jerusalem and Haifa. Four Arabs have been arrested in connection with the blaze near Jerusalem. While there are no reports yet regarding the suspected reasons for the fires, Arab arson is likely, having apparently become the most common reason for fires in Israel in recent years.
The acting spokesman for Jerusalem's firefighting units, Arik Abulof, told Arutz Sheva that the fire is burning in the Even Sapir Valley, between the moshav community of Even Sapir and Hadassah Ein Karem Hospital.
"Fifteen firefighting crews are working at the scene and firefighters currently in Team Commander Course are on their way from the National School for Firefighting and Rescue," he said. Additional crews from central Israel are also on their way.
The fire spread in two directions, toward Even Sapir and toward the hospital. It was reportedly under control by early evening.
There are no casualties, he said, but there are reports that some people are being evacuated from their homes.
The second fire broke out on the eastern slope of Mount Carmel. The Commander of the Haifa Bay firefighting station, Yossi Ben Yosef, told Arutz Sheva that there are 20 firefighting teams on the spot and two firefighting planes are helping to douse the flames.
"The fire is not near a residential area," he said. While the fire has yet to come under control, there are no casualties.
A third forest fire broke out Wednesday near the community of Tivon, in the vicinity of Haifa. Tivon is situated near the Zevulun and Jezreel valleys. Firefighters were rushing to the scene to control the blaze.