Police check if Jerusalem blaze was caused by stray fire from army exercise
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Police check if Jerusalem blaze was caused by stray fire from army exercise

20 fire trucks and six firefighting planes fought to control major forest fire on Thursday

Planes work to put out a forest fire in Beit Meir outside Jerusalem, July 5, 2018 (Flash90)
Planes work to put out a forest fire in Beit Meir outside Jerusalem, July 5, 2018 (Flash90)

Police are investigating whether a massive forest fire in the hills outside Jerusalem on Thursday was caused by stray fire during a security services training exercise.

Some 20 fire trucks, six firefighting planes, and police officers battled the fire in wooded hills several kilometers west of the capital.

Residents were evacuated from their homes in the nearby village of Beit Meir, but there were no reports of any damage or injuries.

In a statement to Channel 10 news, police said there would be a thorough investigation into the incident.

“Police and firefighters acted immediately and professionally to extinguish the fire as fast as possible and prevent injuries. Of course, a fire caused by a supervised training exercise by the security forces will be thoroughly investigated, and lessons will be learned from the incident if necessary,” read the statement.

According to Channel 10, this would not be the first time security forces have sparked a fire in the area. In 2017 a blaze was ignited by a light belonging to Border Police officers who were searching for thieves in the area.

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