Three fires broke out in the hills around Jerusalem Wednesday, near the towns of Even Sapir and Aminadav in the hills southwest of Jerusalem, as well as in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Lifta, and in the town of Tzur Hadassah, to the south of the city.
Route 1 leading out of Jerusalem toward Tel Aviv was closed to trucks, and Route 375 leading toward Tzur Hadassah was closed entirely.
Officials said Wednesday night that the fires were under control, Israel Radio reported.
Police told The Times of Israel that they were looking into the possibility that the fires were deliberate.
Thirty-nine teams and six aircraft were involved in battling the flames near Even Sapir, close to the Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center. The main road to the hospital was closed to traffic.
Fifteen homes in Even Sapir and several in Aminadav were evacuated, the Ynet news site reported. In Lifta, the flames threatened to reach several factories.
Several homes in Aminadav went up in flames, Channel 2 reported.
Twenty hikers were rescued from the Even Sapir spring.
Five teams and two aircraft were battling the flames in the Sansan nature reserve near Tzur Hadassah.
A week ago, a major fire broke out in the forest near the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Kiryat Yovel and Ein Kerem. Hundreds of residents of nearby apartment buildings were evacuated as the flames reached roads in the area.
Five homes were destroyed and several more damaged by the blaze, which, according to officials, was caused by negligence.