Firefighters were battling multiple blazes Friday near communities and major highways across the country, amid an intense heatwave.
Large blazes near six communities led to thousands of residents being evacuated, with one leading a section of the major Route 6 highway to be closed. Two people were lightly hurt by smoke inhalation in one incident.
One fire was burning near the West Bank settlement of Kfar HaOranim Friday morning. Local police said all residents were being evacuated from the community, located near the city of Modiin. Some four homes were reported to have caught fire. There were no known casualties.
“Some 25 teams are at the scene, including volunteers,” police said, adding that firefighting aircraft were also working to help douse the flames. Windy conditions were said to be making firefighters’ work more difficult.
Several roads in the area were closed off due to the fire, including the Route 443 highway that connects Tel Aviv to Jerusalem — in the eastbound direction.
— Dudi Modan דודי מודן (@ModanDudi) October 9, 2020
Another large fire was reported near Umm al-Qutuf, east of Hadera. Some 13 firefighting teams were at the scene and working to douse the flames. Residents were evacuated from the Arab village, as well as from nearby Kafr Qara and Ar’ara.
Two fires were also reported near the northern community of Nof Hagalil, where some residents were instructed to leave their homes. Some 30 firefighting teams were reported to be battling the conflagrations. Two people were lightly hurt after inhaling smoke and were treated by paramedics. Several properties were reported damaged by the fire.
Another fire was reported in the afternoon near the settlements of Mevo Dotan and Maoz Zvi, leading to the evacuation of residents.
Yet another blaze near Bat Hefer, east of Netanya, led to home evacuations and to the closure of a section of Route 6, also known as the Cross-Israel Highway. The highway was closed between the Nitzanei Oz and Baqa-Jatt interchanges.
שריפה בבת חפר סמוך לבתים pic.twitter.com/kQcC9ADdGw
— HAMITLAHEV (@amlahav) October 9, 2020
The military said soldiers were dispatched to several fire spots to aid firefighting efforts.