Police evacuated residents in western Jerusalem as firefighters battled a forest fire on the edge of the city Thursday afternoon.

According to a police spokesman, a blaze in the Jerusalem forest had forced the closure of a number of streets in the capital, including Rachel Hameshoreret and Harazim Streets and segments of Ish Shalom Road, and Herzl Boulevard in Yefe Nof.

Heavy smoke from the fire also prompted the evacuation of some homes on Rachel Hameshoreret and Harazim streets.

Sixty firefighter units from areas near Jerusalem have been deployed to the scene of the fire and are working to contain the blaze. Air-borne firefighting units have also been called in to battle the fire.

Later on Thursday, a second fire broke out in western Jerusalem near Lifta, to the west of the Romema neighborhood. Firefighting units have been deployed to the scene to contain the second blaze.

Some residents on Panim Meirot Street in the Mattersdorf neighborhood and on its continuation, Sorotzkin,Street, were forced to evacuate due to the heavy smoke from the second fire. Police have also begun evacuating the Neveh Simcha nursing home in Mattersdorf. Streets and offices near the main bus station, in the Givat Shaul neighborhood and those visiting the Har Hamenuchot cemetery have benn evacuated as well.

Latest news reports say the Jerusalem forest fire is under control, while the Romema fire is not yet controlled. The firefighters explaned that the fires began in the dry beds of wadis in the forest and spread rapidly through the brush surrounding them due to the high, dry winds blowing in the area.