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Huge wildfires break out in Jerusalem

News portal Yedioth Ahronoth reported, on Sunday, that one of the largest wildfires in recent years is raging in the mountains around Jerusalem.

An army of dozens of firefighters and firefighting planes extinguished the flames that were threatening the villages surrounding Jerusalem. Several homes were burnt down, but a psychiatric hospital called Itanem was evacuated in time, as patients and staff were safe, according to 12 television trade news.

Thousands of residents were evacuated from mountain villages, and firefighters managed to curb the flames on the outskirts of the villages of Beit Meyer, Souris and Suva, but the flames managed to reach the area of ​​the village called Ramat Raziel.

This is perhaps the greatest fire in recent years in the Jerusalem mountains

Nassim Tuito, Jerusalem District Fire Chief, told Ynet. The specialist said 60 to 70 firefighters are working in the area using 12 planes and a helicopter.

And the Minister of Internal Security, Omar Bar-Lev, arrived at the square, who stressed that despite this

Only planes can stop the flames until dark, but firefighters continue to fight at night to save settlements in the area.

The smoke spread all the way to Jerusalem and became clearly visible in the central part of the country. Traffic was stopped on Main Road 1, which connects Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and cars were diverted to side roads.
The last time large multi-day wildfires occurred across Israel was in November 2016, when the flames spread rapidly due to prolonged extremely dry weather due to dry vegetation and strong winds.

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Cover photo: IDF and firefighters control the blaze near the village of Shoresh near Jerusalem, Israel (Photo: EPA/Abeer Sultan)