Israeli firefighters battle forest fire (file)
Israeli firefighters battle forest fire (file)Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

A large brushfire near Beit Shemesh has burned over 700 dunams of land, firefighters stated Sunday, outside of Luzit in Mateh Yehuda. 

Ten firefighting teams rushed to the scene to battle the blaze, under the command of Beit Shemesh fire chief Reuven Yitzhak. The fire has been contained. 

"A large combined force of career and volunteer firefighters, in the air and on the ground, are working to stop the raging fire," Yizhak stated to Channel 2. "We were able to stop the fire from most directions, but occasionally it flares up due to changing winds." 

"I call on members of the general public to keep fire safety rules, particularly in open areas, following the heat wave this week," he added. 

The latest fire follows an alarming upswing in brushfires, with over 1,500 fires recorded in just 5 days last week. Fire chiefs believe that human negligence - not the heat wave last week - is the ultimate culprit.

Last Monday, a couple reportedly started a massive brushfire in the Negev via an improvised barbecue.