Israel battles fires as heat wave sparks extreme dry conditions

Temperatures soared beyond 100 degrees Fahrenheit; the elderly and ill were urged to stay indoors. 

By World Israel News Staff 

Wildfires were raging in many places in Israel on Wednesday amid intense heat, with temperatures soaring toward and beyond 40 degrees celsius, over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, in much of the country.

Hot and dry conditions are fairly common in Israel, and when the weather becomes extreme, fires break out far more easily.

It is also considered dangerous for the elderly and ill to just go outside.

“We call on the public, especially elderly people and those who suffer from chronic illnesses, to avoid sun, heat exposure, and unnecessary physical exertion,” the Health Ministry said in a statement. The consolation was that the extreme conditions were forecast to last for only one day.

Fires were reported in northern Israel, including the Haifa area, but also in the center of the country.

In the Beit Shemesh area, located between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, residents in nearby communities have been evacuated. Also affected were such places as Petah Tikva, situated just miles away from Tel Aviv. Houses in the community of Shavei Shomron in Samaria were also evacuated.

In Or Yehuda, located in central Israel, a number of homes were going up in flames from a blaze in the area. Some residents were being evacuated.

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In several locations, the fires were being fought from the air, including Wadi Ara in the north, where a large forest fire was raging.

Also in the south, in places such as the area of the port city of Ashdod, firefighters were battling flames.

Jerusalem has not gone unscathed, with a brush fire breaking out in one of the capital’s neighborhoods.