Disasters & Accidents

Fires near Jerusalem spread, more locals evacuated

Jerusalem, Aug 16 (EFE).- Large wildfires that have recently broken out near Jerusalem gained momentum on Monday, forcing the evacuation of the nearby Israeli communities and blocking the roads.

Hundreds of firefighters and a dozen water-dropping aircrafts have been working to prevent the spread of the blazes – which erupted on Sunday – along the southern access to Jerusalem, local media reported.

Although they were nearly under control this morning, the blazes spread to the Giv’at Ye’arim community, where the army dispatched helicopters to help evacuate the residents, a military spokesperson told Efe.

The communities of Tzova, Ein Naqquba and Ein Rafa, located a few kilometers from Jerusalem, have been evacuated, a spokesperson for the fire department told Efe.

Since they were declared on Sunday, the largest fires in years have destroyed some 2,000 hectares of forest, according to the firefighters.

So far, the fires have not caused severe injuries or major material damages, with only a firefighter sustaining moderate injuries and some buildings burnt.

The fires are thought to have been caused by humans, but it is not known whether or not they were premeditated. EFE


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