The main highway to Jerusalem, Route #1, was temporarily closed on-and-off to traffic on Wednesday afternoon, because of smoke from fires in the Lifta valley alongside it. Some 40 dunams (10 acres) of wooded area have gone up in flames.
Twelve fire-fighting teams have been called to help fight the fires, which eyewitnesses say broke out in several locations at once. One fire-fighter has been treated for smoke inhalation.
Located just outside and below the entrance to Jerusalem, the Lifta springs are a popular locale for a quick nature hike for city dwellers. Six families were evacuated from the site when the fires broke out.
The topographical conditions are making the fire-fighting efforts difficult.
This is the third major fire in the area of the outskirts of Jerusalem in four days.