Large wildfire forces evacuation of tech park in northern Israel
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Large wildfire forces evacuation of tech park in northern Israel

Firefighters bring blaze near Kiryat Tivon under control, after working to prevent it from reaching natural gas facility; roads blocked, then reopened

A large forest fire near Kiryat Tivon, June 1, 2020. (Yossi Zamir/Flash90)
A large forest fire near Kiryat Tivon, June 1, 2020. (Yossi Zamir/Flash90)

A brush fire blazed Monday in northern Israel, fueled by dry and windy weather, forcing the shutdown and evacuation of an industrial zone amid efforts to protect a natural gas facility. The fire was brought under control several hours later.

The fire broke out in the Carmel region, southeast of Haifa, near the town of Kiryat Tivon. Strong winds caused it to quickly spread in the direction of Yokne’am and Ussafiya.

As firefighters initially struggled to contain the blaze, an industrial and tech zone in northern Yokne’am was evacuated as a precaution.

Four firefighting planes as well as ground teams later began to bring the fire under control, with assistance from municipal and parks authorities.

Officials said the main objective was to keep the fire away from a nearby natural gas facility.

Many roads and railway tracks in the area were temporarily blocked due to the fire and dense smoke, including the Route 6 highway, before being reopened. Police advised drivers to avoid the area and use alternative routes.

The Kiryat Tivon local council advised residents to close their windows due to the smoke.

A large forest fire near Kiryat Tivon, June 1, 2020. (Yossi Zamir/Flash90)

Eventually, police said the fire was under control. It burned down about 6,000 dunams (1,500 acres).

The fire was close to where a huge 2010 fire killed dozens of prison guards whose bus got trapped on a road, as well as three police officers and three firefighters, including a 16-year-old volunteer.

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