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Large blaze breaks out in Jerusalem Forest

Firefighters manage to contain flames before they spread to populated areas, as weather conditions spark concerns of fresh wildfires

Illustrative: Smoke rises from a large forest fire in the Sataf area west of Jerusalem, October 26, 2017. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Illustrative: Smoke rises from a large forest fire in the Sataf area west of Jerusalem, October 26, 2017. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Authorities evacuated people from a guesthouse early Friday morning as a large wildfire engulfed part of the Jerusalem Forest.

The blaze near the Ziporri guesthouse came as authorities warned that hot, dry weather and high winds could lead to a rash of fires around the country.

Eight teams of firefighters, along with firefighting planes, were called to battle the blaze, according to Hebrew media reports.

The firefighters eventually contained the blaze and prevented it from spreading to houses in Jerusalem and nearby towns.

The Jerusalem Forest is a heavily wooded area popular with hikers that covers hills to the west of the city. The Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and museum sits on the edge of the forest.

Authorities warned Thursday that the weather over the weekend would be similar to November 2016, when drought-like conditions helped feed a massive outbreak of wildfires across the country.

The largest of those fires was in Haifa, where the weather conditions prompted the city to put firefighting units on high alert over the weekend.

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