Brush Fires Rage Across Israel

Published: June 29th 2010
in News » Israel

Brush fire.

According to Israeli police, arsonists may be to blame for brush fires that raged through the Jerusalem suburb of Beit Shemesh on Tuesday, as well as other parts of the country.


A number of fires spread across various forested regions in the Israeli heat, the largest of which engulfed the woods of Beit Shemesh towns Tirosh and Gefen.  Thirteen firefighting squads were on the scene trying to maintain control of the flames, with Israeli Defense Force troupes and helicopters on hand.


The initial belief was that the cause of the fires was natural, although police later seemed to believe the area had been torched purposely by arsonists. No injuries have been reported as of yet, and residents of the areas have been evacuated as precaution.


Fires also raged near the more central city of Yehud, with large firefighting teams at the scene concerned with taming the flames, lest they spread to the nearby Ben Gurion International Airport.


Firefighters were also called to duty for Carmel Park and in the Carmiel in the more northern part of the country.


Also in the north, in the village of Yafiyeh, a fire broke out endangering homes in the area. Arabs threw rocks at Israeli fire crews who had approached the blaze, however, which caused them to withdraw.


Haaretz reported that several firefighters have suffered from smoke inhalation while trying to quell fires at Beit Shean, and were treated by Hatzala and Magen David Adom crews, one evacuated to Kaplan hospital in Rehovot.


Jerusalem Post reported that five homes were damaged as the blaze spread close to a military base.


Additionally, Ashkelon crews fought a large fire near Ammonim Junction on Route 4. As a result of the fire burning hazardous materials, Route 4 was blocked off by police, although thankfully, no injuries have  been reported here, either.

Related articles: (Arson, fire, brush fire, firefighters)

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