Watch: The fire in Ben Shemen Forest

Route 443 is still blocked to traffic, but there are no more active fires in Ben Shemen Forest and nearby Mevo Modi'im.

Tags: Forest Fires
Arutz Sheva Staff , | updated: 11:35 AM

Damage from the fire
Damage from the fire

Nearly all the buildings in the forest town of Mevo Modi'im were destroyed, and the town's infrastructure and sewage suffered damage. Residents were not allowed to return home, and firefighters are concerned that the fire will reignite over the course of Friday.

Yossi Kozetzki, a resident of Mevo Modi'im, was forced to leave the town with his family due to the flames engulfing his home. On Friday he came by to see what remained of his home.

"I'm trying to see if there's something left, and I don't see anything," he told News 12. "Today we came to see if there was anything left. Both of our dogs remained in the area and we wanted to find them. We heard that forty homes in the town were destroyed and completely burned. So we're standing here and trying to see if tehre's anything left of our home - and I don't see anything."

Currently, firefighters are working in two main areas: Near Kfar Uria next to Beit Shemesh, and in the Ben Shemen Forest.

Firefighting and rescue forces are working in complete cooperation with the IDF, Israel Police, KKL, and the Nature and Parks Authority.

In response to requests from the Foreign Ministry, firefighting planes from Cyprus, Greece, Croatia, and Italy will arrive in Israel on Friday afternoon in order to help extinguish the fires in central Israel. Ground forces from Cyprus have already arrived.