Residents evacuated, extensive damage after wave of fires

Fires rage across Israel, leading to destruction of hundreds of acres at southern nature reserve and evacuation of central residents.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

roads blocked
roads blocked
Police Spokesperson

Fires broke out Friday in several parts of the country and, due to the heavy heat and winds, firefighters had difficulty controlling them.

A brush fire broke out near the central Israeli city of Elad, between the Bareket forest and Givat Koach. Some of the residents of Givat Koach were evacuated from their homes and additional firefighting planes were called to help the teams on the ground.

In addition, fire destroyed some 1,500 acres in the Nahal Besor nature reserve in southern Israel. The fire caused extensive destruction, animals died or escaped from the reserve.

Fires also broke out in Nahal Sorek and in the Yarkonim area in central Israel, and near the railroad tracks in the Lehavim area, in the south. The fire there stopped train movement between Kiryat Gat and Beer Sheva North. Buses were dispatched to the Kiryat Gat, Beer Sheva North, University and Beer Sheva Center stations.

Due to the fire that broke out in the Elad area, planes from Ben Gurion Airport took off only with the approval of the fire and rescue services, causing delays in air traffic.

Following the brush fire in the Yarkonim area, Highway 5 was blocked from the Hatikva interchange to the Yarkon interchange in both directions. Route 4613 in central Israel is also blocked in both directions.