Israeli firefighters combat blazes around the country

Israel is experiencing extreme dry and warm weather and, coupled with strong winds, the risk of fires has significantly increased.

Israeli firefighter teams fought several mass blazes in a number of locations around the country on Monday night and throughout Tuesday.

A brush fire broke out in the Latrun area in central Israel late Monday night. The blaze’s spread was assisted by the unseasonly dry weather and strong eastern dry winds.

Families were evacuated from their homes in the nearby community off Neve Shalom, as 60 firefighter teams and 10 firefighting airplanes operated throughout the night to contain and extinguish the flames.

The residents were later allowed to return to their homes.

Investigators believe the fire may have been caused by negligent hikers.

Later on Tuesday, firefighters battled blazes near Atlit and Zichron Yaacov, on Israel’s northern coast.

While the hundreds of firefighters were successful in containing the fire near Atlit, the one near Zichron Yaacov invaded the town, and several neighborhoods were rapidly evacuated.

The flames consumed several homes, and some 10 people were treated for smoke inhalation.

Route 4, a major highway that runs between Tel Aviv and Haifa, was shut down in segments near the fires, while the electric company cut power to several areas.

Read  WATCH: Multiple aircrafts battle fire in Beit Keshet forest

In Nesher, near Haifa, another fire broke out, forcing the shutdown of three nearby factories. Residents were ordered to stay indoors and shut their windows because of the heavy smoke.

Israel is experiencing extreme dry and warm weather and, coupled with strong winds, the risk of fires has significantly increased.

Israel’s Fire Department issued an alert warning of the fire risk earlier in the week, and called off all leave for its fighters on Tuesday for fear of further blazes at other locations.

The IDF has called up some reserve units from its Home Front Command to assist in the efforts.

A weather service in Israel has warned that the winds are expected to intensify, and there is no forecast for rain in the coming days.

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News

>