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Investigators believe 2 massive wildfires sparked by arson

Authorities believe two massive wildfires were sparked by arson according to the results of an initial investigation.

The suspicious fires broke out near Gita in northern Israel and Zeitan in central Israel, near Ben Gurion International Airport. Some residents of both communities were evacuated during the day, and six homes in Gita were damaged by flames.

Israel saw a rash of wildfires nationwide on Saturday amid hot, dry and dusty conditions.

Fire and Rescue Services say over 200 fires were ignited in open areas of Israel on Saturday, forcing the evacuation of hundreds of families. The largest fires are under control and no longer pose a danger.

“In some of the areas, evidence of arson was found,” it says in a statement.

Authorities call on the public to adhere to orders banning fires in outdoor areas.

Firefighting planes carried out around 100 sorties and disbursed some 34,500 liters of material to extinguish the blazes on Saturday.

Firefighters work to extinguish a fire near Yarka, November 13, 2021. (Fire and Rescue Services)

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