Fire rages out of control near Beitar Illit

Air units deployed as fire rages out of control between Beitar Illit and Tzur Hadassah, forcing evacuation of gas station.

Tags: Beitar Illit
David Rosenberg ,

Firefighting plane (archive)
Firefighting plane (archive)
Ari Dudkevitch/Flash 90

A brush fire raged out of control south of Jerusalem Thursday afternoon, prompting authorities to deploy air units to help firefighting teams combat the blaze.

The fire was reported in between Tzur Hadassah and Beitar Illit, encompassing part of the Beitar Forest, and is threatening a nearby gas station and industrial zone, local authorities said.

Eight fire-fighting aircraft have been dispatched to aid in efforts to contain the blaze.

The township of Tzur Hadassah told residents that the gas station on the outskirts of town had been evacuated due to the fire’s approach.

“The fire is now on the edge of the gas station by the Beitar Forest and the industrial zone, the area has been close and civilians evacuated due to life-threatening danger,” town officials said. “The fire is not under control. Route 375 has been closed in both directions from the Beitar checkpoint towards Beitar Illit.”